Manchester United to provide 5,000 school meals during October half-term

Manchester United will provide 5,000 meals to six schools and other charities during the October half-term holiday.

The meals will be prepared at Old Trafford and distributed to the club’s partner schools in the Manchester United Foundation as an initiative which the club say “does not solve the issue locally but will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of families across Greater Manchester”.

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United forward Marcus Rashford – who was recently awarded an MBE for his work in tackling child poverty – has proposed extending the free school meals provision for those on Universal Credit or equivalent into half-terms and the Christmas holidays.

A recent House of Commons measure to extend the free school meals policy until the Easter holiday was put forward by the Labour Party but defeated by a majority of 322-261 votes. Since then, hundreds of local businesses have volunteered to provide free meals for children in the October half-term holiday.

John Shiels, Chief Executive, Manchester United Foundation said: “We’re incredibly proud and humbled to be working with FareShare over October half-term.


“This initiative will go a long way to ensuring that pupils from our partner schools and families using local food-banks have fresh meals to eat, during what we know is a difficult time for many.

“We’ve seen first-hand how children from socially challenged backgrounds can be even more vulnerable when they’re not in school, it’s therefore imperative to be present in their lives throughout the school holidays, showing that we care and the Foundation is always here to support.”

The initiative follows on from the successful collaboration to provide 60,000 meals to NHS staff in May between United, Manchester United Foundation, Mealforce and the club’s catering supplier, Bidfood.

Collette Roche, Chief Operating Officer at United said: “With our teams back playing, the attention for many has returned to what is happening on the pitch. But our work to help support those in need has not stopped and it will not stop as we face into the winter and the restrictions continue to impact our local communities.

“Many of Manchester’s children are going hungry and they are particularly vulnerable during school holidays when they cannot benefit from the meal voucher programme. In parallel with the brilliant work being done individually by Marcus Rashford, we’re proud that the club continues to step in alongside FareShare, the Foundation and their partner schools to help fill this void.”

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