Foundation to support Leeds foodbanks on matchdays

Mears - Leeds Rhinos Foundation. Contract signing. Left to right. Helen Schofield - Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Wendy Doyle - Leeds South East Food Bank, Helen Thompson - Mears, Karen Burgon - Leeds North West Food Bank, Nathanya Laurent - South East Food Bank & Sam Horner - Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation has launched a new partnership with Mears Group and the North & West and South & East Leeds Foodbanks to help reduce food poverty in Leeds.

The agreement will see volunteers from Mears help the foodbanks to collect food and cash donations around Emerald Headingley Stadium for the rest of the 2019 season- and whole of the 2020 season- at all Leeds Rhinos home matches.

Wendy Doyle, Development Officer at South & East Leeds Foodbank, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be working with Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Mears to collect valuable donations.”

“We have had similar arrangements in the past and last year we able to raise nearly £20,000 worth of meals, supplies and cash donations, which made a huge difference to the people who use our services.

“This agreement with Mears and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation means we can do more to help those in food poverty in Leeds.”

Helen Thompson, Customer & Communities Manager at Mears Ltd, added: “As Mears already works in partnership with both the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and the Foodbanks, it made sense to get all of us around the table to see how we could work more effectively to help some of the most vulnerable people within our communities.”

Food poverty in the UK is an increasing problem with recent figures showing that foodbanks saw a 170% increase on the previous year’s requests for help, with more than 25,000 people in Leeds expected to have received food through a foodbank or food parcel provider in the last 12 months.

Sam Horner, Community Clubs Development Officer at the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, commented: “We are delighted to support the Leeds Foodbanks, alongside our Key Partners Mears Group.

“Leeds Rhinos Foundation is already working to help put an end to food poverty in Leeds. We want all our fans and the community to help us by making just a small donation whenever they come to watch a match. Everyone can play their part.

“By working together with our partners and Leeds Rhinos supporters on matchdays, we can help to make a real difference and have a positive impact on hundreds of people’s lives in the city of Leeds.”

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