Aldi has teamed up with England footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford for its Christmas campaign as it pledged to donate 1.8 million meals to families over the festive period.
The ad, styled on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, features returning favourite Kevin the Carrot alongside new character “Ebanana” Scrooge and the voice of Rashford.
Rashford was awarded an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge this week for his campaign to support vulnerable children.
The 24-year-old footballer was recognised for his efforts last summer to ensure no child in need went hungry, which resulted in the Government changing policy over its free school meals vouchers during lockdown.
He said: “As a family, we relied on the local food bank to get our Christmas dinner. To this day, I remember queuing outside that building with mum, mum feeling embarrassed that she might be recognised. It is with that in mind that I’m delighted to lend my support to the Aldi campaign.
“For many children in situations like mine growing up, there is very little expectation around this time of year; add the impact of the pandemic and the very least they deserve is a Christmas dinner.”
Aldi works with Neighbourly, which links businesses to charitable organisations in local communities, to donate its surplus food to local causes.
Neighbourly chief executive Steve Butterworth said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Aldi in their year-round food redistribution programme and in their commitment to donate 1.8 million meals this Christmas.
“These donations will help a record number of families across the UK during what is expected to be the busiest year on record for local charities and causes.”
This is the sixth successive year that Aldi’s Christmas ad campaign has featured Kevin the Carrot, with last year’s ad campaign racking up over 5 million views online.
Aldi UK marketing director Sean McGinty said: “Christmas is a time for hope, and we’re privileged to be working with Marcus, who is one of the most inspirational young people in the UK, having done so much in the past 18 months to help provide free school meals for children.
“At the same time, it wouldn’t be the festive season without Kevin the Carrot on our TV screens, and we’re thrilled to be bringing him back for the sixth year for his many fans, in what we think is his best Yuletide performance yet.”