Council leader thanks Leeds United players for donating £25,000 to hungry children
The leader of Leeds City Council has thanked Leeds United players for donating £25,000 to help feed the city's children in need.
Captain Liam Cooper announced that the squad would pull together to donate the money after being inspired by Marcus Rashford's campaign to extend free school meals.
The Government voted against a Labour motion to extend the free school meals voucher system until Easter 2021 on Wednesday, October 21.
The decision has been met with huge backlash but businesses and schools across Leeds have rallied together and offered to help children in poverty.
-> How Leeds is trying to feed hungry children over the holidays without government free meal supportLiam Cooper said: "Let’s do this Leeds! No children should ever go hungry.
"£25k guaranteed from the squad. We stand with you Marcus Rashford."
Rashford, who plays for Leeds' bitter rivals, responded with a heart emoji on Twitter.
Cooper told Yorkshire Evening Post: "Me and the players are really fortunate and we are in a position to help and therefore we are delighted to support the campaign from Leeds City Council inspired by Marcus.
"No kids should go to bed hungry."
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, has now spoken out to thank the "generous" gesture.
Coun Blake said: “This is a very generous gesture by the Leeds United players and something extremely positive during these otherwise challenging times.
"It is an excellent example of the city’s ongoing commitment to pulling together to support those in the greatest need."
It is not only the Leeds squad that have been generous donating to those in need.
Whites fans have also raised a whopping £50,000 by boycotting the pay-per-view TV matches and donating the money to local food banks instead.
Fans could watch Friday's match against Aston Villa on BT Sport Box Office for a fee of £14.95, but the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust (LUST) encouraged fans not to pay and to donate the money instead.
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 £50,000 donated would provide more than 32,0000 meals through the Leeds South And East and Leeds North And West food banks, which operate under the Trussell Trust.
He also took time to praise Marcus Rashford for his fundraising efforts - despite him playing for club rival's Manchester United.
Mr Hyde said: "It seems almost like an alien thing to do but I think most Leeds fans would very much doff their cap to Marcus Rashford and the amazing work he’s doing in terms of trying to end child hunger,” Mr Hyde said.
“We can ignore the fact that he plays for them."
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