Game On England have been working with a national bakery chain to provide food for hundreds of young footballers in former mining communities.
The partnership with the Greggs Foundation, a charity which donates unsold food from Greggs stores to good causes collected at the end of the day, started back in 2018.
Since then, 394 young people aged between 5 to 18 years old have enjoyed free Gregg’s food at Game On England’s weekly football sessions and tournaments held across parts of Yorkshire.
Kat Clarke, Development Manager for Game On England, said: “Many of our football sessions are located in some of the most deprived areas in the country, and it’s not uncommon for families to struggle with the cost of stocking their kitchen cupboards.
“Thanks to the food Gregg’s provide, we can rest assured that after a tiring football session our participants aren’t going to go home hungry. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a real treat for some of these kids they might never have gotten without our combined help.”
The food which is donated varies based on the relevant store’s stock, but there’s usually a good variety of fresh fruit, sandwiches, savoury pastries and sweet treats.
According to the UN, around 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to get enough food to eat, the equivalent to the entire population of London.
Food poverty is especially a concern during breaks in the school term time calendar when “holiday hunger” can strike. A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on hunger suggests that approximately three million children in the UK go unfed during these periods.
Many parents find it difficult to budget for an extra meal on their weekly food bill which would have covered by the school, often for free.
You can find out more about Game On England and how it inspires young people through sports here.