Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Mears Group launch Grub From Clubs scheme to help fight hunger and poverty in Leeds

Leeds Rhinos Foundation have partnered with ‘Mears Group’ to launch a brand new initiative called ‘Grub From Clubs,’ which will aim to fight hunger and food waste in Leeds in conjunction with local organisations and community rugby league clubs.

This new food share programme will tap into the huge community spirit around the city’s amateur clubs by encouraging players, coaches, supporters families and other visitors to donate unwanted or spare items into wheelie bin collection points dotted around their clubhouses.

Each club will be partnered up with a local community organisation which works to tackle hunger and food poverty in Leeds- who will collect the items to distribute out to local people in need.

In light of the current cost of living crisis and following on from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, more families than ever before are struggling to make ends meet and put food on their tables. Since the turn of the year, foodbanks across Leeds have reported a huge surge of almost six times the amount of people using their services, as bills and food prices continue to skyrocket.

The scheme will be overseen by Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Community Clubs Development Officer Sam Horner, who led the charity’s efforts throughout lockdown to provide meals and other necessary items for some of the city’s most vulnerable and isolated people.

With almost one quarter of children in Leeds currently living in poverty and around 5% of the city’s entire population now relying on foodbanks, Horner hopes that the rugby league community will help the Foundation and Mears Group to play their part in tackling this huge problem.

“We’re delighted to be teaming up with Mears Group and some fabulous organisations across the city who we have strong working links with, to help tackle the ever-growing problems of poverty and hunger in our city.

“Times are certainly tough, perhaps now more than ever, the local community must be united, stay together and try look after each other.

“We hope that our local community clubs and the great people who use them can get behind this initiative and that the collections of much-needed food items will help some amazing organisations in Leeds to continue providing the support they give to those who are most in need.”

Nicola Berry, Group Customer Success Manager for Mears Group, said: “Working with Sam to implement an idea like Grub from Clubs has been really insightful. The rugby league community have been really interested and engaging in terms of having a drop off point at the club which will then enable the local community foodbanks, cafes and services to utilise the donations for those who are really in need.

“To aid the project and to provide us with a way to collect the donations, our partners at Leeds City Council have been kind enough to provide the wheelie bins which we are using as our collection points and will continue to support as the project grows.

“It is a really worthwhile initiative and one which we hope will run and provide much need relief to those families within our own communities.”

Drop off stations and wheelie bins will be set up at four community rugby league clubs across the city who are piloting the scheme- West Leeds ARLFC, Guiseley Rangers, Whinmoor Warriors and North Leeds Leopards.

These bins will be clearly marked with ‘Grub From Clubs’ stickers, as well as a guide on what items should be donated, including:

  • Tin Cans
  • Dried fruit
  • Rice
  • Biscuits
  • Dilute/Juice
  • Shower Gel
  • Deodorant

No family should go without food. As a Rugby League community, and in conjunction with our partner Mears, we ask that you give as generously as you can.

The message is simple- ‘Just one can will Wheelie make a difference.’

For more information about the ‘Grub From Clubs’ food share programme, including full details of how your club can join the scheme, please email sam.horner@leedsrhinosfoundation.org.