Morrisons and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to fight holiday hunger in October half term

Beth Langston, the Northern Diamonds all-rounderBeth Langston, the Northern Diamonds all-rounder
Beth Langston, the Northern Diamonds all-rounder
Morrisons and The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) are to deliver thousands of meals to prevent children in Yorkshire going hungry during the half term holiday at the end of October.

The charity organisation and Morrisons will run Crick-EAT – an initiative to deliver free, nutritious meals to help children and families who are most in need and most at risk of experiencing holiday hunger.

Through the Crick-Eat partnership, six venues across West Yorkshire will provide 2,000 nutritious meals as well as hours of cricket coaching from professionally trained coaches, from Monday October 25 to Friday October 29.

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High profile Yorkshire supporters of the initiative include Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s captain, Steve Patterson, and Beth Langston, the Northern Diamonds all-rounder.

Mr Patterson said: “The work that the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Morrisons are doing in our communities to help to fight holiday hunger is inspiring and comes at a crucial time.

“The power of sport, and cricket in particular, to engage with and help those in need is a major part in why we all play the game.

“I hope that we are able to inspire generations of young people with our performances on the field, but it is initiatives like this that will make the biggest difference where it is most needed.”

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The six venues include three in Bradford - the Karmand Centre, in Barkerend, the Grange Interlink based on Summerville Road and the BEAP Community Partnership (BEAP). Hovingham Primary School, the Bilal Sports Centre, and Brudenell Primary School in Harehills in Leeds are also chosen venues.

Ms Langston, who will deliver meals first hand to Brudenell Primary School in Harehills in Leeds during the half-term, 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 1,000 hours of cricket.

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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 don't have access to free school meals throughout the school holidays.

The Crick-EAT scheme, which follows 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.

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Beth Cook, health & wellbeing manager at the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, said: “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.

“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.”

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