The Iceland Food Club has helped over 44,000 children get a good meal during school holidays over the last year. This award-winning scheme – a partnership between Iceland Foods and charity owned lender Fair for You – was launched nationwide in August 2022, and is set to grow further with new funding from a not for profit financial inclusion body.
In the year since the scheme was set up, the Iceland Food Club has lent over £5 million, enabling financially vulnerable customers to avoid food poverty with interest-free microloans of £25-£100 to purchase everyday items.
Today Fair4All Finance has confirmed up to an additional £2 million investment into Fair for You to support further sustainable growth of Iceland Food Club. This funding is in recognition of the significant social impact of Iceland Food Club.
Micro loans are made available to eligible customers on a pre-loaded card, with repayments set at £10 per week. Customers have flexibility to choose which day of the week they make the repayments and may overpay if convenient for them. Top up loans are only permitted during six school holiday periods to ensure its not used by those unable to meet ongoing daily expenses. Iceland Foods has invested heavily in the Food Club over the past year, making all loans interest-free.
Richard Walker, Executive Chairman of Iceland Foods said: “We have seen the remarkable impact that the Iceland Food Club has had in supporting struggling customers through the cost-of-living crisis. Setting up the Food Club alongside Fair for You has been one of the most innovative partnerships we have formed as a business, and we know it has been a lifeline for so many families who now have a workable solution for affording essential goods.”
Simon Dukes, Chief Executive at Fair For You added: “Around a quarter of households in the UK have less than £100 in savings which makes holiday periods very stressful. Fair for You is delighted to make life easier for tens of thousands of Iceland customers who can’t always afford a big grocery shop but who can afford a small interest-free loan, which is paid back within weeks, to help them and their children through the holidays. The additional investment from Fair4All Finance will enable us to reach even more people who will truly benefit from the Food Club.”
Sacha Romanovitch OBE, CEO at Fair4All Finance said: ‘We’ve been impressed with the strong social impact and positive customer outcomes of Iceland’s Food Club, and the vital support that access to low value, zero percent interest credit provides to customers in the most financially vulnerable circumstances.’
‘We’re pleased to be investing up to a further £2m in Fair for You to help grow this scheme and help more people manage through the school holidays and navigate the cost of living crisis’
The Iceland Food Club launched nationally one year ago following a rigorous social impact assessment by the Centre for Responsible Credit of an extensive pilot of the scheme. Of more than five thousand Food Club pilot customers surveyed:
- More than 9 in 10 (92%) of customers using food banks previously had stopped or reduced their food bank use
- Nearly three quarters (71%)said they were less likely to fall behind on rent, council tax or other bills
- 80% fewer customers resorted to loan sharks
- Two thirds (65%) said their diet had improved
- And well over half (57%) felt less ‘stressed, anxious or depressed’ about their finances.
The first-of-its-kind scheme is part of Iceland’s wider Doing it right: right now strategy that is designed to support the communities it serves.
Anyone can apply for the scheme, and, if successful, credit can be used in store and online using a preloaded card, allowing customers to stock while spreading the costs.
Successful applicants will receive a preloaded card within 5-7 business days. It is interest free. For more information about the Iceland Food Club please visit: https://www.fairforyou.co.uk/food-club-card