Image credit: Foundation 92
The independent charity, Foundation 92, are providing free meals for young people.
Formed by the ‘Class of 92’ who are part owners of Salford City F.C, the charity is reaching out to the community in response to the campaign led by England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to ensure young people are fed over the school holidays.
Rashford, having received free school meals as a child, called for the existing free school meals scheme to be extended throughout the summer holidays.
As a result of his campaigning the government set up a £120m ‘Covid Summer Food Fund’ for children to receive free school meals throughout this period.
After the government voted against extending the scheme into the Christmas holidays, floods of businesses and charities reached out to Rashford on Twitter to help out the people of their communities during this difficult time.
In conclusion… pic.twitter.com/1h1HHK4mdR
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 25, 2020
The government is refusing to extend free meals into the school holidays in England, saying they have already increased Universal Credit by £20 a week and allocated £63m to local authorities.
Official figures show that 1.4 million young people were eligible for free school meals in England earlier this year.
Analysis by the Food Foundation estimates a further 900,000 children in England may have requested free school meals since the beginning of the pandemic.
There is no sense whatsoever in pretending to ourselves that just giving 1.4m kids free meals in hols fixes things. Many kids don’t need it, and many in genuine need won’t benefit from it due to extreme lives and problems. To be effective, we have to be more personal and local.
— Ben Bradley MP (@BBradley_Mans) October 23, 2020
Foundation 92 is committed to helping young people and families lead healthy and positive lifestyles.
The charity is working with various partners across Salford in order to help young people get a healthy meal everyday throughout the school holidays.
This isn’t the first time Foundation 92 has engaged in an initiative like this one.
Over the summer over 600 meal packs were delivered throughout Salford across a six week period.
Tom Hutton, Head of Foundation 92, says that summer 2020 opened the eyes of those at Foundation 92 to the ongoing and ever growing needs of Salford’s community.
Last summer’s events inspired Foundation 92 to make a greater impact in Salford.
The charity deliver family health improvement and lifestyle support programmes.
They also provide youth work and sports programmes that help young people come together.
— Foundation 92 (@Foundation92) October 23, 2020
Hutton said the initiative hopes to help a minimum of 600 young people each week over the holidays.
He added: “hundreds of families across Salford go without a healthy meal during half term. Families are reliant on free school meals.
“I’ve always been very passionate about helping those less fortunate in society. Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive and achieve their potential.
“The power of football is a universal power; it helps everyone to engage in an inclusive manner. Through the power of football and the brand of Foundation 92, we as a responsible local charity recognise our commitment to helping those less fortunate lead healthy happy lifestyles in this global pandemic.
“With so many people hitting hard times at the minute, Foundation 92 felt is was ethically and morally right to reach out at this time in order to help Salford”.
Sign Rashford’s petition below:
If you can do one thing for me tonight, sign the petition 👇🏾https://t.co/FvvpO71zOv
It’s time we put party politics aside and worked together to find a long-term sustainable solution to child food poverty in the UK.
Implement the 3 asks.
I appreciate you all ♥️
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 20, 2020
Hutton said Rashford has enabled charities to collaborate and to reach out to those most vulnerable in society.
He said: “Marcus has really highlighted this ongoing problem of young people going hungry during the school holidays.
“He has mobilised the third sector, mobilised charities and raised awareness on this ongoing concern that impacts thousands”.
Matt Agnew, Operations and Development Manager at Foundation 92, said it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.
He said: “what’s fantastic to see is at a time where people are being asked to socially distance and not see friends and family, the community is coming together and supporting each other”.
Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland and Wales have pledged to give free meals over the holidays.
With some MP’s regretting the decision to vote against Rashford’s campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says ministers “will do everything in our power to make sure that no child goes hungry this winter during the holidays”.
To find out more about Foundation 92 visit: https://salfordcityfc.co.uk/foundation-92/