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HomeEconomyIceland’s Loan Scheme Helps Over 23,000 Families

Iceland’s Loan Scheme Helps Over 23,000 Families

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Iceland has revealed that its loan scheme, named the Iceland Food Club, has helped over 23,000 families since it launched last year.

The ethical credit scheme from the frozen food retailer has lent over £5m since its national launch, enabling financially vulnerable customers to fill gaps in income with interest-free microloans of £25-£100.

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. Now celebrating its one-year anniversary, it has helped over 44,000 children get a good meal during school holidays in the last 12 months.

The initiative – 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 non-profit financial body.

Fair4All Finance has confirmed up to an additional £2 million investment into Fair for You, to support further sustainable growth of the Iceland Food Club.

Of more than five thousand Food Club pilot customers surveyed, 92% of customers using food banks previously had stopped or reduced their food bank use, while nearly three quarters (71%) said they were less likely to fall behind on rent, council tax or other bills.

Additionally, over half (57%) felt less ‘stressed, anxious or depressed’ about their finances.

Executive chairman of Iceland Foods Richard Walker 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.”

Chief executive at Fair For You Simon Dukes commented: “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,” he said.

The news comes as Iceland Foods is rolling out a new range of money-saving offers to support families and address parental concerns on the cost-of-living as children return to school.

Source: Grocery Gazette

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