Din-din merrily on high! Thrifty Christmas Dinner cooked up by chef and campaigner duo

Every child deserves a Christmas Dinner, and with 2.3 million children1 going to bed hungry in the UK in the past month, Marcus and Tom have stepped up their Full Time Meals campaign this Christmas.

Marcus set Tom the challenge of creating a Christmas Dinner meal for up to six people for just £10* following Marcus’ childhood memories of visiting the local food bank on Christmas morning. Tom has come back with a festive Full Time Meals Christmas Dinner recipe which includes a tasty Turkey Roll with Stuffing and Tray Bake Veggies and a Boxing Day Potato and Carrot Hash with Fried Eggs using any leftovers. These two recipes will mean a family of up to six can enjoy a suitably festive Christmas dinner and a big Boxing Day meal for less than a tenner. The two tasty meals come in at less than £10 if you use your Healthy Start voucher[1]. The Healthy Start scheme has seen an increase in uptake from 47% of eligible people in September 2020 to 60%3 a year later due in part to the Full Time Meals campaign, and the work of the Child Food Poverty Taskforce.

Christmas Dinner can be a daunting prospect, which is why Tom and Marcus have made it super simple; no need for lots of pots and pans, and a cook-along video which is now live at https://www.instagram.com/fulltimemeals/ to explain step by step exactly what you need to do.

Christmas is meant to be a time of warmth, good food, and laughter. For families facing food poverty this winter, the reality couldn’t be more different.  Across the UK, thousands of families are already reaching breaking point. With the sharp rise in energy and food prices, parents are being forced to choose between keeping their children warm or putting food on the table. 

It is a shocking fact that families with children are almost twice as likely to be facing hunger this winter (Food Foundation 2021), which is why The Full Time Meals campaign is supporting FareShare, the UK’s largest charity network tackling food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK, by urging people to donate £10, the cost of this family Christmas meal, to fight hunger. With your support, they can get vital food supplies to families with nowhere else to turn.

You can donate via www.fareshare.org.uk/fulltime or text-to-donate. Simply text 5FULL to 70580 to donate £5, 10FULL to 70580 to donate £10, or 20FULL to 70580 to donate £20. Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate.

“Christmas can be such a hard time for many families, Marcus and I wanted to create something that might help bring a little bit of cheer to those who are finding it difficult. So, I hope the recipes we have created are useful and that they will bring awareness of the Healthy Start Voucher many families are entitled to. I want to see people cooking together over Christmas and if you are lucky enough not to have experienced hunger as a child, then please dig deep this Christmas and support FareShare with whatever you can give, it will change lives”. Tom Kerridge

“After all they have been through over the last 18-months, the least children deserve is a hot Christmas dinner this year. Christmas has a great ability to bring family together and I want as many children as possible to wake up on Christmas morning happy and without the stress of wondering where their next meal is coming from. We relied on the local food bank for our Christmas dinner. I want families in communities like mine to look forward to creating something special in the kitchen together and making memories. Tom’s done a fantastic job of pulling two great recipes together and I’m looking forward to seeing how people get on,” said Marcus Rashford MBE

Lindsay Boswell, CEO FareShare, said, “The 10,500 charities that FareShare provides food to week in and week out across the UK are already supporting vulnerable people in their communities through a very difficult winter. Cost of living increases added to challenges to incomes mean that many millions of people are facing an uncertain and worrying Christmas time. We are humbled to be working alongside Marcus and Tom to support the Full Time Meals campaign and distribute the fantastic, affordable recipes that Tom has created to the charities who help over a million people across the UK each year. Any contribution that people can make to support FareShare to help vulnerable communities this winter is going to make a huge difference to people’s lives.

Back in April 2021, Marcus Rashford MBE and Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge, joined forces to launch ‘FULL TIME: Get Cooking with Marcus & Tom’, a nationwide initiative to support the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign launched by Marcus in 2021, to call ‘Full Time’ on child food poverty. Marcus and Tom are shining a light on this national issue, by equipping children with vital life and cookery skills to support seamless navigation into adult life. Together, Marcus and Tom are driving change at both a national and grassroots level. 

The Full Time Meals campaign has created 52 delicious family recipes as part of its 12-month long programme since April 2021.  The recipes are simple and easy to follow with emphasis on limited equipment and the inclusion of store cupboard goods with a longer shelf life. Each recipe features a QR code linking through to the ‘FULL TIME’ Instagram page where users can access short-form tutorial videos hosted by Tom, Marcus and a selection of celebrity guests and families. 

Full Time hopes to help give children and families the skills and confidence to cook good, proper food in their own kitchens, using the equipment available to them. It’s creative, fun and engaging, offering families valuable time in the kitchen and being able to enjoy a tasty meal together.

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