Mastercard embarks on free school meal initiative

Source: Mastercard

Starting on Monday 16th October (World Food Day), for three weeks Mastercard will donate one school meal for every pay as you go journey made on Transport for London (TfL) and National Rail Services in London using a contactless Mastercard, or a Mastercard loaded into Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay.

Each completed journey will provide a school meal for a child in need, through Mastercard’s partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP). This is the first campaign of its kind on London’s transport network.

Customers can pay as you go on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, Thames Clippers River Bus and most National Rail services in London, and a meal will be donated for every single journey made using a Mastercard. 

Mark Barnett, president, Mastercard UK&I said: “Anyone who uses a Mastercard to pay as you go will travel around London knowing they’ve fed one of the world’s most vulnerable children. Hunger is one of the greatest global issues we face, and even in 2017, 815 million people still go to bed hungry every night. For three weeks, Londoners can do their bit to help achieve zero hunger and support some of the world’s neediest children with just a tap.”

The value of school meals

Each school meal costs just 20p, but the benefits last a lifetime. For many of the world’s most vulnerable children, it may be the only nutritious meal they get all day. Regular school meals keep children in education, lowering drop-out rates by giving parents a powerful incentive to send their children to school, rather than keeping them at home to help in the house or on the land. Wherever possible, meals are sourced from local farmers, boosting economies and building communities.

“With so many competing demands on people’s time and a new global crisis every time we turn on the news, it can be difficult to feel like you’re making a difference,” said Prerana Issar, director of private sector partnerships for the World Food Programme. “Starting this World Food Day, people can arrive at work knowing that – simply as part of their morning commute – they’ve already fed a hungry child.”

Each year, as part of its goal to achieve Zero Hunger, WFP provides school meals to more than 16 million children across 60 countries, often in hard-to-reach and dangerous locations. Since 2014, Mastercard has provided 17 million school meals through its partnership with WFP, and earlier this year announced a commitment to provide a further 100 Million Meals. 

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