Breezing in to boost YEP’s food campaign in Leeds

Christine Brown and Lisa Brown, donating to the foodbank
Christine Brown and Lisa Brown, donating to the foodbank
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Youngsters enjoying action-packed days in Leeds helped to feed cash-strapped families.

Leeds City Council backed the YEP’s Feed a Family campaign by holding collection points at its Breeze on Tour events at Kirkstall Abbey.

Generous visitors filled two trolleys with tins, packets and bags of food, in the hope of reducing the number of Leeds children who will go to bed hungry this summer.

Sally Coe – manager of the council’s Breeze Out of School Activities Team – said the collections were a huge success, raising awareness as well as helping Leeds West Foodbank to replenish its stocks.

She said: “People were asking questions ‘like where does the food go? How do families access it?’ and a lot of people were asking how they could get involved and how they could give more food.”

She added: “There are families who, in some cases, could benefit from knowing more about foodbanks, while others are able to support them. So it reached people in different ways.”

Thousands poured through the gates over two days to take part in games and activities including adventure inflatables and arts and crafts, while many took to the stage to compete in the Breeze Has Talent heats.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for digital technologies, culture and skills, said: “This is a great opportunity to raise the issue of hunger and poverty amongst youngsters whilst helping to provide food for some of the most vulnerable families in our city.”

The YEP recently revealed that thousands of hard-pressed residents have been forced to turn to their local foodbank for emergency supplies because their cupboards were bare.

Nearly 20 double decker buses worth of food have been distributed to help feed some of the city’s most vulnerable residents since September.

However, this is the first summer that the city’s four Trussell Trust foodbanks have been open. Families whose children receive free school meals during term-time are particularly feeling the strain, so the foodbanks are under extra pressure to keep their stock levels up.

The team from Leeds West Foodbank were manning collection points at the Mini Breeze event at Farnley Park today from 1pm to 5pm, along with their friendly and furry mascot, Rocky the dog.

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