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celtic fc and islamic relief packing food bags

Islamic Relief working with professional football clubs to help support struggling families in the UK

Islamic Relief are working with professional football clubs to help support families struggling to buy food during the cost of living crisis and work towards combating food poverty during school holidays.

In total, we will be supplying 2,500 food parcels to those in need.  So far, Leicester City in the community and Foundation 92, Salford FC official charity have taken part, and we have distributed 1,000 food parcels.  

The following football teams are also taking part: 

  • Celtic FC foundation will be  delivering 500 food parcels on the 22nd August 
  • West Ham united foundation will be delivering 500 food parcels in September 
  • Aston Villa foundation will be delivering 500 food parcels on the 23rd August 
Image: Staff and volunteers at Islamic Relief UK and Leicester FC.

Summer amid a cost of living crisis 

The summer holidays are a time of particular need for many families struggling with the cost of living crisis, as they lose access to the free school meals programme that would normally have supported them during term time. 

Some local councils in the UK do normally provide vouchers for those families in the holidays, however according to recent research by BBC News, this support has dropped. 67 of 92 councils have kept the support the same or cut it, despite high inflation, meaning families can afford 17.3% less compared to last year.  

Many people have been hit hard by the cost of living crisis, including low-income families, those suffering from domestic abuse, the homeless, asylum seekers and refugees who were already struggling to feed themselves, and many prioritising eating or heating as they struggle to pay their bills.

According to the Department of Education, 23.8% of children enrolled in state school rely on free school dinners. If all those children lose access to this food over the summer holidays the consequences could be disastrous.  

Image: food packs at Aston Villa FC, ready to be distributed to vulnerable communities.

A helping hand 

The participating football teams are providing much-needed support to communities struggling across the UK, and their generosity will go a long way to help. 

We are proud to be working with these iconic football clubs throughout the summer holidays who are doing their bit to provide for their local communities

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK. 

“The summer holidays should be a time of enjoyment and relaxation for young people in the UK, instead they are having to deal with hunger and the stress it causes themselves and their parents. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK is continuing to wreak havoc on families as many go hungry and are unable to pay their bills. This should simply not be the case in the UK.    

“Islamic Relief UK is calling on the UK government to urgently work at every level to strengthen the social security system and ensure that benefit payments are, at least, enough for people to afford essential household goods and adequately feed themselves.” 

Image: Food pack preparations with Foundation 92 for families in Greater Manchester.

Warmly received food packs

Our food distributions with Leicester City in the community and Foundation 92, Salford FC official charity were successful, and families were grateful to receive the much-needed support. 

The food distributions completed so far were an indication of the level of poverty felt by families amid the cost of Living Crisis, and we heard many stories of those who are struggling through the summer holidays. 

The Summer Food Drive has been a lifeline for many. It is bringing together food foundations, local charities and community groups, as we work together to prepare food packs and distribute to those most in need. 

Many have been working tirelessly for long hours, and yet their spirits remain high. 

Volunteers feel grateful to be able to contribute – knowing that every food pack could mean families enjoying the school holidays, without worrying about how to feed their children. 

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