Leeds event’s goal is to kick out hunger

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Football fans took to the pitch to enjoy a city-centre kickabout in exchange for food parcels which could save lives in Leeds.

Members of the public showed their support for the inaugural Footy for Food (FFF) event at Soccer Central, Wellington Place, by turning out to play the beautiful game after handing over non-perishables destined for Leeds South Foodbank.

Shared goal: Players at the first ever Footy for Food event in Leeds

Shared goal: Players at the first ever Footy for Food event in Leeds

Richard Loat, founder and chief executive of FFF, said the aim of the game was not just to generate much-needed supplies but to raise awareness.

“Footy for Food is all about communities, volunteers and individuals coming together to help support foodbanks through football.

“Foodbanks are a vital service but they need all the support they can get and that’s where FFF is trying to help.”

Jason Robinson, site development and distribution manager at Leeds South Foodbank in Middleton – run by The Trussell Trust – said it was fantastic to see FFF raising awareness of the importance of foodbanks.

He said: “Foodbanks are lifesavers. Since opening in October last year we have fed more than 1,800 people and around 60 per cent of them were children.”

He said adults often went hungry so their children could eat, adding: “We’ve had critical ones where we’ve had to feed them immediately because they haven’t eaten for days and look like they’re about to pass out.”

FFF, a non-profit organisation, stopped off in Leeds yesterday as part of a 10-city, 10-day UK tour.

Five-Hole for Food, a hockey-themed tour in Canada – also run by Richard – has raised more than 250,000kg of edibles for its local foodbanks in the past three years.

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