Manchester United have joined forces with FareShare to provide 80,000 meals to families from local communities this Christmas.
The initiative is part of the Manchester United Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers Christmas appeal, with FareShare in Greater Manchester having donated 33 tonnes of food to the campaign so far.
That will be turned into 80,000 meals by United club chefs, before being delivered to children and families from the Foundation’s partner schools, food banks and other charities.
United ambassador Denis Irwin, who visited Fare Share in Greater Manchester, said: “It’s an inspirational and incredible operation, one that is managed so well by FareShare GM – full credit to them.
“The amount of families and children in need, people who need the most basic things, like food – it’s an eye opener.
“Manchester United is a huge football club, but we are committed to working in the community and the Foundation does a tremendous job. It’s a great effort on behalf of Manchester United and FareShare GM that we’ve partnered up so we can deliver these 80,000 parcels to partner schools and charities around Christmas.
“It can be a tough time for many people and unfortunately it’s only going to get tougher for some.”
Collette Roche, chief operating officer for Manchester United, said: “2020 has been a really challenging year for so many across the country. The issue of food poverty has been significant, worsened by the Covid-19 crisis and aggravated further during the holidays when many children cannot get access to free school meals.
“Many have rallied to this particular cause and we are proud to be able to play our part. We’ve scaled up our partnership with the Foundation and with FareShare GM, bringing our resources together, to produce 80,000 meals over the festive period. We thank all the fans and staff who have contributed to this important project.”
United forward Marcus Rashford is an ambassador for FareShare and has teamed up with them as part of his mission to end child food poverty in the UK.
Last month, former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sung the praises of Rashford for his campaigning and announced he would be partnering with FareShare, pledging up to £2m to the charity.
Rashford was awarded an MBE for his recent campaigning – which also saw the Government twice make a U-turn on providing free school meals during holidays.
Ferguson, 78, grew up in Glasgow in tough conditions and believes Rashford has done a great job in highlighting the plight facing families across Britain.
“You have to be shocked at the number of people who are in need of food,” Ferguson told The Times.
“Marcus has opened the eyes of everyone in Britain. The work he’s done has been fantastic and we’re all so proud of him because of that.
“What Marcus has done is he’s led the way – people will say, ‘That boy he’s only 23 years of age’. People who are in their later ages…should be saying, ‘I can do something’.”
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