Asda has launched a £1 “winter warmer” meal deal in its cafes to help the most vulnerable customers this winter.
The deal is available for people aged over 60 and includes soup, a bread roll and unlimited tea and coffee.
It will be available throughout November and December in any of the supermarket chain’s 205 cafes.
The move comes after Asda’s latest Income Trackers showed that people aged 65 to 74 experienced a £163 drop in disposable income in August, compared to last year.
Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner, said: “We know that this winter is set to be incredibly hard for thousands of pensioners as they worry about how to keep themselves warm in the face of rising living costs and a fixed income.
“We’ve already been able to serve over half a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 initiative in our cafes and we’re hoping our new offer of soup and hot drinks for over-60s will prove just as impactful for those who need it most.
“Meanwhile, the cost-of-living grant programme led by Asda’s charity The Asda Foundation will support grassroots organisations who are providing a lifeline in their communities during these tough times.”
Asda is also set to provide help for community groups, with £500,000 in funding available in individual grants of up to £2,000 per organisation.
The supermarket is also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in its cafes by creating space for community groups, who may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs. Spaces will be available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm to 6pm and all community group members who visit will receive unlimited free tea or coffee.
Households facing fuel poverty this winter
The meal deal aims to support the most vulnerable as the UK faces cost of living and energy crises this winter, with many elderly people facing fuel poverty.
Research from Age UK estimates that 2.8 million older households will remain in fuel poverty this winter despite the energy price cap being frozen.
Meanwhile, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has warned that UK households and businesses may face planned three-hour outages during the winter to ensure the grid does not collapse.
The planned blackouts is the most dire of three possible scenarios that the ESO set out on Thursday for how Britain’s electricity grid might cope with the worst global energy crisis for decades.
In the other two scenarios, the operator hopes that by paying people to charge their electric cars at off-peak times, and firing up back-up coal plants, it can offset the risk of blackouts.
Households are being encouraged to help avoid the need for blackouts by using more energy during off-peak times, and could be paid by suppliers to do so.
The “demand flexibility service” is to be implemented by energy suppliers and monitored using a smart meter, with a minimum reward of £10 per day being issued to homes that prioritise off-peak electricity usage, according to the Mail Online. The voluntary scheme is scheduled to run from November to March.
It comes as the Prime Minister sought to downplay fears over the need for planned energy blackouts, saying the UK “can get through the winter” despite warnings that such blackouts could be needed for the first time in decades.
However, she stopped short of explicitly offering a guarantee of no blackouts, in response to concerns from the body that oversees Britain’s electricity grid.
Pressed to guarantee there will be no blackouts, Ms Truss told reporters during a visit to the Czech Republic: “What we’re clear about is that we do have a good supply of energy in the UK, we’re in a much better position than many other countries, but of course there’s always more we can do, and that’s why I’m here working with our partners, making sure we do have a secure energy supply into the future.”
She added: “We do have good energy supplies in the UK, we can get through the winter, but of course I am always looking for ways that we can improve the price for consumers.
“That’s why we put in place the energy price guarantee as well as making sure we have as much supply as possible.”