Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Morrisons to help fight holiday hunger in Leeds communities during October half-term

Hundreds of children across Leeds are set to benefit from a programme that uses cricket coaching and free meals to tackle hunger in the school holidays.

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) and Morrisons will help deliver thousands of meals to stop children across West Yorkshire going hungry during the half-term holiday later this month.

The charity organisation and Morrisons will run Crick-EAT – an scheme which uses the power of sport alongside delivering free nutritious meals to help children and families who are most in need and most at risk of experiencing holiday hunger.

Six venues will provide roughly 2,000 nutritious meals including While Hovingham Primary School, the Bilal Sports Centre, and Brudenell Primary School in Harehills, in Leeds as well as the Karmand Centre, in Barkerend, the Grange Interlink based on Summerville Rd and the BEAP Community Partnership (BEAP) in Bradford.

A previous Crick-EAT event at Brudenell Primary in Harehills.

Famous Yorkshire supporters of Crick-EAT and who have helped deliver meals first-hand include Bradford-born Adil Rashid, a Yorkshire County Cricket Club player and England cricketer,  Leeds mayor Counc Asghar Khan, Bradford East’s MP Iran Hussain, Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley and Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel.

This year Northern Diamonds player, Beth Langston will be handing out meals at Brudenell Primary.

She said: "I’m looking forward to getting involved with one of the sessions in Leeds and meeting the kids there. The scheme is so important for them and I’m delighted to be able to be a small part of it. Hopefully we can help to inspire some young cricketers whilst also ensuring they get the food they need during the school holidays.”

The October scheme follows a successful summer programme which saw the Crick-EAT Partnership deliver more than 12,000 meals and nearly 1000 hours of cricket fun.

Two girls taking part in Crick-EAT.

Rebecca Singleton, Customer & Community Director at Morrisons, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our support of the Crick-Eat project and building on from the great work that was done earlier in the year to ensure that children from Bradford and Leeds don’t go hungry during the school holidays. This half-term, our Community Champions will be back out visiting all the venues and providing healthy packed lunches for the children.”

With many children coming from low-income households across the region, holiday hunger is a major issue for families who may not have access to free school meals throughout the school holidays.

But the Crick-EAT scheme - which follows on from the high profile campaign from England footballer Marcus Rashford - will provide vital support for families in the region, particularly with Universal Credit being cut for many of those most in need.

Beth Cook, Health & Wellbeing Manager, for the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, added: “It’s great to be working alongside Morrisons again for the October Half Term to deliver Crick-EAT to support Yorkshire’s communities in what is a challenging time for many.

Starting them young. The Crick-EAT programme offers coaching as well as meals.

“Universal credit cuts, increases in energy prices and the aftermath of the pandemic has left many families in a situation where they need further support. Although we can’t tackle all of these issues head on, we can relieve some of the stress around food insecurity and availability by delivering Crick-EAT over the school holiday.”

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All-rounder Beth Langston in action. Picture: SWPix