Tesco Stronger Starts £5m programme open for applications

  • £5m grant scheme launched by Tesco to support schools and children’s groups with funding for food and healthy activities
  • Grants of up to £1,500 available to fund activities that focus on providing food to children

Tesco is introducing a £5m grant programme, in partnership with Groundwork UK, to give children across the UK a stronger start in life. The grants will help schools and children’s groups provide nutritious food and healthy activities that support young people’s physical health and mental wellbeing, such as breakfast clubs or snacks, and equipment for healthy activities.

Customers can support their local school and children’s groups by dropping the Tesco blue token they receive at checkout into the relevant voting box as they leave the store.

The scheme, supported by UK community charity Groundwork, will replace the current Tesco Community Grants funding programme. Recent research from Groundwork found that 78% of schools are currently having to provide food for children from their own budget. The Stronger Starts research found that over half (51%) of parents agree that their child struggles to concentrate at school if they do not have breakfast.

“Helping schools and children’s groups access the food and resources they need is vitally important in getting children a stronger start in life. Children with enough food have more energy, better concentration, and ultimately achieve more too. As a business that is at the heart of communities across the country, we know that urgent action is needed to support the development and prospects of young people.  We hope our initiative will help families that are struggling to keep children fed and active.”   

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO

“Since 2016, working with Tesco, we’ve supported more than 50,000 groups making life better in their local communities. Recently we’ve seen how schools and other groups supporting young people have been playing a much bigger role in ensuring children are getting a healthy start to the day and getting access to spaces and services to support physical activity and mental health. Family budgets are tight and school budgets are tight, but it’s so important that children stay fed, fit and focused, so we’re delighted to be able to prioritise these activities in the new Stronger Starts programme.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive

Stronger Starts is being supported by Kiss FM presenter, Jordan Banjo, who said: “It’s hard for kids to dream big when they’re hungry but by nominating your local school or children’s group, you can make a massive difference to the lives of thousands of youngsters.”

Schools and children’s groups will be able to apply via Groundwork for a grant of up to £1,500. Grants are for activities that focus on providing food to kids such as fruit for breakfast clubs or snacks to enjoy throughout the day, and for equipment for outdoor and indoor activities.  

Successful applications will go to a customer vote in their local Tesco store. Two out of the three blue token voting boxes by the checkout will be dedicated to local schools with the third given over to local community projects nominated by each store’s colleagues. Customers can then choose which of the three projects they’d like to support by voting with a blue token. 

Notes to Editors

Every three months the grant scheme will support 1350 schools with £1.35m worth of funding in 675 communities across the UK. 

March saw Tesco publish its Community Impact Report. Since its Community Grants programme launched in 2015 it has awarded over £100 million in funding to more than 50,000 community projects, with grant awards decided by 700,000.000 votes cast by Tesco customers in stores across the UK.  The programme has helped tackle homelessness, promote diversity, support communities during the Covid 19 pandemic. It has supported veterans through charities based in our garrison towns and kept kids happy and active through sport. More recently it has helped get what’s needed most to families through funding for food, mental health support, lifesaving equipment and specialist resources.