Heinz to support vulnerable children and families in Ireland in fight against hunger
Heinz to donate meals to Irish families, as 87% of families are reducing portion sizes to stretch shopping further
17 August 2023
A child psychologist has warned that children’s physical and psychological welfare is at risk as a result of the increasing food poverty issue in Ireland.
The concern follows a survey of 1,000 Irish parents that unveiled eight in ten (87%) families are having to reduce their portion sizes in an attempt to stretch their shopping further.
And it seems reducing portion sizes isn’t enough for some households, with more than half (51%) having to miss meals on a regular basis. In fact, the average family member misses out on 11 meals per month.
Commissioned by Heinz, the survey revealed that eight in ten (85%) have had to cut back or remove altogether nutritionally rich foods such as meat (32%), fish (24 per cent) and dairy (12%) in a bid to reduce their shopping bill.
For the children in these households, lack of food and nutrients is not only leaving them hungry, but at risk of experiencing other developmental issues in areas such as physical health, mental health, education, and social wellbeing.
Clinical Child Psychologist, Dr Malie Coyne, said on the subject: “I was pained to see the results of the Heinz survey, which shows just how many families in Ireland are being negatively impacted.
“As a parent, you want to do everything to keep your child healthy, and feeding children nutritious food is what we are hardwired to do, so they can grow and develop well. A poor diet during a child’s early life can have a significant impact on their physical and cognitive development, leading to further problems in adult life. Food insecurity in childhood affects a child’s ability to learn in school and their whole educational experience, including making friends, participation in activities, and their general sense of belonging.”
When questioned, 85% of parents said they worry about the long-term-impact food poverty and the cost-of-living crisis will have on their children.
Meanwhile, 78% are concerned that it will affect their child’s learning and education, potentially affecting opportunities later in life such as attending University or career choice.
Nearly a third (30%) believe that their child’s physical health is at risk, with the lack of food and nutrition potentially causing long-term health issues.
And it’s not just physical health that is a concern but mental health too, with 32% worried that children living in food poverty will feel isolated and unequal to others – impacting their social wellbeing.
With so many families struggling, Heinz is giving its Beanz packaging a special makeover for the second year in a row, with every pack sold helping to feed vulnerable families in Ireland.
The limited-edition three-pack of ‘Heinz Meanz Mealz’ cans are now available in stores nationwide.
Purchasing just one of the limited-edition three-packs will go towards support for vulnerable children and families all over Ireland, with every pack purchased seeing Heinz donate to Barnardos Breakfast Clubs.
Elaine McCague, head of Heinz Ireland (Interim), said: “Our research brings to life the harsh realities that families in Ireland are currently facing.
“Our founder, Henry J. Heinz, believed that heart power is stronger than horsepower. Today, his beliefs and values live on, as we continue to help support families in time of need, just like he would want us to.
“We’re passionate about helping to support those facing child food poverty and believe everyone deserves the goodness and comfort a can of Heinz Beanz can bring.”
New three-packs of ‘Heinz Meanz Mealz’ Beanz are available from major retailers such as Dunnes, Tesco, SuperValu and Aldi now, as well as convenience stores. RRP €3.59. Prices are at the sole discretion of the retailer.