Iceland and Appreciate Group partner on free school meal voucher scheme

Appreciate Group CEO Ian O'Doherty

A North West retail group and gifting specialist have combined to support Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to ensure schoolchildren receive free meals this Summer.

Deeside food retailer Iceland, Liverpool-based gifting, pre-payment and engagement company Appreciate Group, and digital gift card specialist Tillo, from Lodon, joined forces to offer free school meal vouchers for millions of families following the high profile campaign to ensure no schoolchild goes hungry this Summer.

The vouchers will be accepted in all Iceland stores to support as many families as possible from this week.

The campaign for extended free school meals during the Summer holidays gained momentum when Marcus Rashford shared his experiences of growing up in poverty, and the three partners have worked over recent weeks to lead the way for families, so the scheme is available in time.

Any parent or carer looking to use the vouchers in Iceland stores can use the Edenred portal and select Iceland as their preferred retailer.

They will then receive their allocated digital vouchers which can be used in Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores across the country.

The digital vouchers are powered by Appreciate Group, utilising their e-Gift Card technology to enable families to receive their funds and spend them at Iceland.

Ian O’Doherty, Appreciate Group chief executive, said: “This scheme is essential for so many families and we’re delighted to be able to support Iceland on the roll-out of these free school meal vouchers.”

Tillo was instrumental in the collaboration, having also helped facilitate other retailers to be part of the Free School Meals initiative.

Gareth Gillatt, Tillo chief executive, said: “As a business, we’re thrilled to have welcomed Iceland given their national coverage, trusted brand as well as their incredible range of product and everyday value. We know their inclusion in the scheme will strengthen the overall proposition for families.”

Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this essential scheme which will help millions of families over the Summer.

“After listening to our customers across the country, our teams have been working tirelessly with our partners to make it possible for us to support the nation’s school children.

“We believe it is absolutely crucial that all children have access to nutritious food, whether schools are open or closed, without the additional meals eaten at home during the holidays placing a financial burden on families.”