Celebrities back Metro.co.uk campaign to make baby formula affordable

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Celebrities back Metro.co.uk campaign to make baby formula affordable

A number of famous faces have backed Metro.co.uk’s campaign for the government to change legislation around using loyalty points to buy infant formula (Picture: Rex Images)

A whole galaxy of stars have come out fighting for Metro.co.uk’s Formula for Change campaign, in partnership with family support charity Feed. 

Katherine Ryan, Ashley James and Michelle Heaton are among just a few famous faces supporting our campaign for the government to review their infant formula legislation and give retailers the green light to accept loyalty points, all food bank vouchers and store gift cards as payment for infant formula.

Government regulations prohibit retailers from using loyalty schemes to buy formula, which has since rocketed in price and therefore leaving many cash-strapped families in turmoil about being able to keep their children fed and healthy.

Comedian Katherine Ryan is mum to three children: Violet, 13, Fred, two, and seven-month-old Fenna Grace. She believes more needs to be done to make feeding young children affordable for families who may be struggling.

Katherine Ryan argues the government legislation only makes formula milk more expensive and harder to access (Picture: Belinda Jiao/Getty Images)

‘I may have breastfed as a mum but I support all mums whatever their feeding journey,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Times are hard enough and the cost of formula is going up and up. The fact that there’s no way for families to make formula cheaper or work with their budget with loyalty rewards, price promotions or even vouchers just isn’t okay.

‘I don’t think this policy promotes breastfeeding, I just think it makes formula expensive and hard to access. It’s 2023 and no baby should go hungry.’

Kelsey Parker, who shares Aurelia, three, and Bodhi, two, with late husband, The Wanted star Tom Parker, is also on board.

Kelsey wants all mums to be supported in whatever decisions they make for their children (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

‘I breastfed both Rae and Bodhi and I loved the journey but I know breastfeeding can be difficult for many mums for many different reasons,’ she says. ‘The wellbeing of both mum and baby is what is important and I am a firm believer that fed is best.

‘We have to support Mums in making the right decisions for them and their child. No parent should ever have to worry about whether they can afford to feed their child, especially at the start of their life. 

‘Formula feeding mums and caregivers should of course be able to use their loyalty card points or vouchers on formula.  Anything to make the weekly spend go a little further. I can’t believe this campaign is even required!’


Join Metro.co.uk and Feed in calling on the government to urgently review their infant formula legislation and give retailers the green light to accept loyalty points, all food bank vouchers and store gift cards as payment for infant formula.

Once we have reached 10,000 signatures we will take our petition to No.10 to show the Prime Minister this is an issue that can no longer be ignored.

Things need to change NOW.

Click here to sign our Formula for Change petition.

Made in Chelsea star and DJ Ashley James, who has welcomed her second child Ada back in March (a little sister to her two year old son, Alfie) agrees.

‘No baby should go hungry, just as no parent should be in a position where they are left with no baby food – especially when we live in a country where breastfeeding support is so poor and the costs of formula are spiralling,’ she says. ‘Families continue to face endless hurdles with getting access to baby formula and it’s important we stand together and help make formula milk more accessible for all.’

Ashley James worries about the spiralling costs on families who are bottle feeding their little ones. (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, singer Michelle Heaton argues that not every mother is able to breastfeed her children. The 43-year-old, who is mum to 11-year-old Faith and nine-year-old AJ, has had a double mastectomy after being found to carry the BRCA-2 gene, which means she is more susceptible to breast cancer.

‘Many women can’t – or do want to – breastfeed for lots of reasons and we shouldn’t be quick to judge them,’ she says. ‘I had a double mastectomy, as I had an 85% chance of getting breast cancer in my thirties, which meant when my son AJ was born, I physically couldn’t breastfeed him. 

Michelle had a double mastectomy, and so her son AJ was bottle-fed (Picture: Lia Toby/Getty Images)

‘I really urge the government to review this policy. Times are tough and families are struggling.’

TOWIE star Lydia Bright also chose to bottle feed. In a candid Instagram post back when three-year-old daughter Loretta was born, she revealed she wanted to ‘exclusively breast feed’ her little one for the first six months. However, ongoing difficulties saw Lydia turn to formula feeding.

While Lydia was keen to exclusively breast feed her daughter Loretta for sixmonths, ongoing difficulties saw her begin to reply on formula (Picture: Mike Marsland/Getty Images for Premier PR)

‘As a mum that relied on formula milk to help feed my baby, it really saddens me,’ she says.

‘Firstly, to read that prices are soaring, times are tough for many families and this is a bare necessity for our next generation. 

Secondly, to see that parents aren’t allowed to try and ease the financial burden through a very simple but effective scheme. I don’t understand why formula is being singled out as every mother should have a choice on how they feed their child

Lydia’s co-star, Georgia Kousoulou, agrees. She shares two-year-old son Brody with Tommy Mallet, and opted to bottle feed her little one.

Georgia Kousoulou decided it was right for her to bottle feed her son, Brody(Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

‘I made the decision to formula feed my son Brody because it was the right journey for me. You have to do what works for you but a lot of women feel judged for formula feeding and that’s not ok. 

‘I’m all about supporting mums in whatever choice works for them. And it breaks my heart to hear how the rising cost of formula milk has been so damaging for mums and families. No family should have to resort to watering formula down or skipping meals themselves to feed their babies. I was shocked to hear that there is a policy in place that stops you using loyalty points to purchase formula. 

‘It doesn’t make sense to me and I think it only makes formula feeding mums feel guilty – plus make formula even harder to budget for. I think we need to review this policy and work out a better way for all mums and their feeding journeys to be supported.’

Former Celebs Go Dating star Nadia Essex adds there’s certainly a fear of judgement about choosing to bottle feed, which she hopes to counter. Nadia opted to mix feed her three-year-old son Ezekiel.

Nadia chose to mix-feed her son Ezekial, who she gave birth to as the pandemic erupted (Picture: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

‘Until now I assumed points and vouchers could be used on anything a supermarket sells. Baby formula is literally food for babies, it’s scandalous that it’s restricted at all,’ she says.

‘I mixed fed my son and remember in lockdown being so afraid I couldn’t feed him as everything was so restricted. It really affected my mental health. No parent should be worried that they can’t feed their baby and no parent should be excluded from using vouchers or points to help – especially during the cost of living crisis. 

‘I fully support this campaign and urge the big companies, earning millions in profit, to change their rules. Let parents use points and feed their babies!’

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected] 

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