Leeds United's Tyler Roberts visits Pudsey charity to help hungry children across Yorkshire

Tyler Roberts visited the Rethink Food Warehouse in Pudsey to learn more about the operation they run and their relationship with the Leeds United Foundation.

By Abi Whistance
Monday, 25th April 2022, 11:45 am

The football star was keen to find out more about Rethink Food and how they link up with the club’s official charity, discovering how they support families and help prevent hunger in children.

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The organisation currently uses food from supermarkets, wholesalers and other partners which otherwise would have gone to waste.

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The organisation currently uses food from supermarkets, wholesalers and other partners which otherwise would have gone to waste. Photo: LU

Roberts spoke to LUTV during the visit and said: “The thing that’s blown my mind is that everything here is something that would’ve just gone in the bin and not been used, and it’s all useable stuff.

"I’ve actually learned so much, I came into it thinking I was going to help make some food boxes up and I had an idea around them trying to save food and help families that are less fortunate, but the operation that is going on here is beyond what I thought it would be.

“I said to the guys when I was younger, I never really grasped nutrition too much, it’s something that you would touch on but you don’t really get into the details. So for them to create a programme where they are learning and teaching, so all the young kids growing up can understand what they need and when to have it, is obviously massive.”

Roberts was also able to ask questions around their education programmes, with a focus on nutrition and ensuring children and families know more about the food they are putting in their bodies.

Rethink Food offers a learning platform, with a hub in the White Rose Centre called the Rethink Food Academy.

This is a place where children, schools, community groups and businesses can come together for various activities, meetings and events focused on food.

Nathan Atkinson, Co-Founder at Rethink Food, said: “The mission of Rethink Food is supporting children and families in the wider community, helping them with improved access to food, availability of food, utilisation and sustainability of food.

"We try and provide that wrap around support around food leading to food security and we go one step further, so we don’t just provide their food and it stops there, we want to empower people and educate people to live a life that is food secure.

“Everything we do, including our work with the Leeds United Foundation, is driven to improve people’s relationships with food, especially young children.”

Simon Wood, the Health and Wellbeing Lead at the Leeds United Foundation, added: “During the school holiday’s we offer free holiday courses to primary school aged children in Leeds, and through these courses we link up with Rethink Food, with the kids getting packed lunches along with a food hamper to take home during the week. This really helps support the families, especially with the rising costs of living going up it just gives them a helping hand.

“What we also find, which is really interesting on the camps, is that children get a bit of education around the food too. We talk to them about nutrition values in food, we look at what is in the hampers, and we talk about what you can eat with what and it really raises their awareness around what they are eating and the goodness in the foods.”

The Healthy Holiday programme runs during each half-term holiday in deprived areas to ensure any vulnerable children have a safe place to attend, with educational and active sessions delivered along with the support of providing food during the day and to take home with.

For more information around the work being done head to the Rethink Food website.For further information around the programmes being delivered by the Leeds United Foundation, please contact [email protected]