McDonald's Happy Meals will come with a book or toy option at all Irish outlets from today, the company has announced.
For the past eight years, McDonald's have been providing thousands of books to children across Ireland through its Happy Meal book promotions but this new scheme will see Happy Meal books become a permanent option for children to enjoy.
From today, parents will be able to choose a book or a toy every time they purchase a Happy Meal for their child. Two new books will be available, namely Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle and Scooby-Doo and the Werewolf, and the book choices will rotate in a system similar to the famous Happy Meal toy promotion.
As well as that, McDonald's has also announced that they will donate 2,000 free children’s books to the St. Vincent de Paul (SVP). The books, featuring authors such as Roald Dahl, will be distributed to children across the country and support the charity’s WordPower programme.
Speaking about today's news, Michelle Graham-Clare, Vice President of Food and Marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: "We have been committed to getting books in children’s hands for nearly a decade and are proud to have distributed thousands of books to children across Ireland. The Book or Toy initiative is another example of providing our Happy Meal families with even greater choice and what a choice to have! A brilliant story from some fantastic authors or a fun toy featuring some of their favourite film and TV characters.”
SVP National President Kieran Stafford added: "This generous donation of 2,000 children’s books will greatly benefit so many children and families across the country. This will help bring early learning and development benefits to children who might not normally have access to reading material. Half of the donation will be going to our East region's WordPower initiative which to-date has provided books to around 3,500 children in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. This donation represents a great boost to the campaign.”
From 2021, every Happy Meal in the UK and Ireland will include either a soft toy, paper-based toy or a book. This is part of the company's commitments to remove over 3,000 metric tons of plastic from the business from 2021, the largest reduction by McDonald’s to date. The moves are the latest in a series of efforts to improve the company’s impact on the environment, having launched its Get In The Bin anti-litter campaign earlier this month.