Leeds Rhinos Foundation teamed up with The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation during half term to host a sports activity camp and tackle holiday hunger amongst local children.
Food poverty in the UK is an increasing problem as figures show that Trussell Trust foodbanks saw a 170% increase on requests in 2019, with parts of Leeds ranking amongst the 10 worst affected areas in the country as an estimated 30,000 children in the city go hungry each holiday period.
The three-day camp at Hovingham Primary School followed the launch of a new partnership between Sodexo and Meals & More, who support children in areas of the UK where social deprivation and food poverty is more prominent by providing them with a regular source of nutritious meals during the school holidays.
Thanks to extra coaching support from Leeds Rhinos Foundation and partners Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the children also enjoyed a number of multi-sports sessions with activities ranging from rugby to cricket and various other team games. Meanwhile, volunteers from Stop Hunger helped to register the children, distribute lunches, assist with clearing up and coaching, whilst food was kindly provided from Sodexo’s supply chain of partners including Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Reynolds.
Nick Byrom, Business Development Director at Sodexo Sports & Leisure and Trustee of the Stop Hunger Foundation said: “We’re really delighted to be able to work closely with our clients and partners to deliver an activity that will have a direct and tangible impact to children in these communities.
“This is a great example of how Sodexo can leverage the power of our people and services through our Stop Hunger Foundation to provide social value and support those in need.”
Gareth Cook, Head of Community & Engagement at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, added: “We are delighted to have partnered with Stop Hunger and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to deliver the first of these Stop Hunger camps at Hovingham last week.
“The camp provided a fantastic opportunity for children to have a take part in physical activity whilst having access to healthy meals. With no cost to parents, the camp was a wonderful community offer that will have made a real difference in our community.”
The Stop Hunger initiative was created by Sodexo in 1996 to support a variety of charities that help to tackle hunger and malnutrition, either through directly feeding vulnerable people, delivering education or skills training that equip individuals to improve their overall wellbeing and eating habits.
For more information, visit https://www.your-sodexo.com/my-community/stop-hunger/.