Supermarket giant Asda has announced it will offer a “£1 winter warmer” meal deal, including a soup, roll and unlimited tea or coffee to over 60s this winter.
The chain’s 205 cafes across UK will offer the deal every day throughout November and December, running alongside the current ‘Kids eat for £1’ offer which was launched in June.
Asda announced the move after its latest Income Trackers showed that those aged 65 to 74 experienced a £163 drop in disposable income in August, compared to last year.
Asda has also said it will provide support to community groups, with £500,000 in funding available in individual grants of up to £2,000 per organisation.
Mohsin Issa, the firm’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.”
It comes amid the cost of living and energy crises, which is expected to leave many elderly and vulnerable people struggling with fuel poverty this winter.
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 planned energy blackouts could be needed to protect resources.
While households will be paid to put on their washing machines or dishwashers away from peak hours in an effort to prevent blackouts, shortages of gas could mean planned three-hour blackouts in some areas to protect supplies for heating homes and buildings.
People are being encouraged to sign up with their electricity supplier to a scheme which will give them money back on their bills to shift their use of power away from times of high demand to help prevent blackouts.
In the ESO’s worst case scenario, they assume the UK would run out of enough gas during two weeks in January 2023 when it is both very cold and still meaning low levels of wind power.
If this happened, homes and businesses would be cut off for pre-defined periods – generally for three-hour blocks during the day – the ESO called this “unlikely”.
It said the number of people left without electricity would depend on how many gas power stations would be forced to shut down because there is not enough gas.
But this was the worst-case scenario that the grid operator presented.