Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani says club can "make a difference" as players and board pledge £50,000 to help hungry kids
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Leeds United have announced they will match the £25,000 donation pledged by the club’s playing squad in support of Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals.
The player donation to Leeds Community Foundation (LCF)was announced by club captain Liam Cooper and the club itself later confirmed it would match fund the donation.
Leeds tweeted: "@MarcusRashford We all stand united at this time, #LUFC will match the £25,000 donated by our players."
Earlier Cooper tweeted: "Let's do this Leeds! No children should ever go hungry. £25k guaranteed from the @lufc squad. We stand with you @Marcus Rashford."
the upcoming school break providing activities and healthy food.
This afternoon, Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani said to the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I am proud that our club and our squad are contributing to the Healthy Holidays programme. These are tough times and many people need help to feed their families, so we should all come together to help our community.
"Children should never go hungry so it's great that this initiative run by Leeds Community Foundation in partnership with Leeds City Council will extend access to meals during this holiday.
"I believe football is a force for good and this is an opportunity for Leeds to make a difference."
Fans have also helped to raise £40,000 to help local food banks after boycotting watching their team play on pay-per-view TV.
With Friday night's Premier League game at Aston Villa available to watch only on BT Sport Box Office for a fee of £14.95, the Leeds United Supporters' Trust (LUST) has been encouraging fans not to pay and to donate the money instead.
By 6pm on Friday - two hours before kick-off - the Leeds Fans Foodbank had received just over £40,000.
LUST vice chair Graham Hyde said: "We're absolutely blown away by it. Before Monday, we'd raised over the course of 18 months to two years £31,650 - we've more than doubled that in the space of five days.
"It's mindblowing, but at the same time we're not surprised. Leeds fans when they come together like this are phenomenally powerful in terms of how they support their community, how they support each other and how generous they can be."
Mr Hyde said the £40,000 donated would provide 32,000 meals through the Leeds South And East and Leeds North And West food banks, which operate under the Trussell Trust.
He added: "That's a huge, huge impact on families that will be vulnerable and in need at the present time in Leeds. That will be feeding families in the coming months, particularly up to Christmas and over winter, which will be the most challenging time for many, many vulnerable families."