Kari Daniels (centre), CEO, Tesco Ireland with founders of The Good Grub Initiative, David Kelly (left) and Denis O’Reilly (right) at the launch of the Stronger Starts programme. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Pilot programme starts

A recently announced new pilot programme will give thousands of meals to feed children and families across Ireland.

Stronger Starts was created by Tesco Ireland in partnership with the Good Grub Initiative and will provide 1,000 families per week with free nutritious food packages containing potatoes, carrots, onions, and apples, to support them in preparing healthy meals at home.

Good Grub is a not-for-profit initiative that has, since the start of the Covid pandemic, delivered nutritious fruit and veg parcels directly to the families of a number of DEIS school children around Ireland. During the pilot, home school community liaison officers in over 40 DEIS schools will identify families who may need supplemental support at home this winter.

Tesco began partnering with the Good Grub Initiative as a pilot programme in November 2021 and the pilot campaign - which will run until February - will see Tesco provide the equivalent of over 120,000 thousand meals to families most in need in communities around Ireland.

As part of the campaign, Tesco has teamed up with GAA star Philly McMahon and Local Hero Katie to launch the campaign. Tesco will also release a video content series to demonstrate how healthy and nutritious food is the best ingredient in any recipe.

The new partnership with Tesco has been warmly welcomed by the Good Grub Initiative co-founder, Denis O’Reilly.

He said: “We’re delighted that Tesco has come on board to help us provide nutritious packs of healthy food going into the homes that need them, complementing the Government and food provision programmes already in place in schools. This will make a huge difference to so many people that have been affected by increased food insecurity because of the pandemic.”

Kari Daniels, Tesco Ireland, CEO, said: “Through our Tesco stores nationwide, we wanted to help children and their families who need it to have access to healthy and nutritious food and help them have a stronger start in life. We are delighted to partner with the team at the Good Grub Initiative on the Stronger Starts programme to do this and we hope together we can make a real difference.”

Once the pilot is complete in February, Tesco and the Good Grub Initiative will review and refine the programme with the aim of reaching more children and families across Ireland.