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Food parcels delivered to deprived Byker families supported by Newcastle United Foundation

Dozens of vital food parcels have been given to families in desperate need of support during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Byker thanks to generous donations through Newcastle United Foundation.

Byker Community Trust (BCT) and the Foundation have been working together to help enrich the Byker estate with a number of community activities offering employability support, activity in schools and health and wellbeing events through its United Byker programme.

Now in its fourth year, the partnership has adapted significantly to provide a joint COVID-19 response. Using contacts together, the Trust and Foundation were able to secure a huge donation of food from Morrisonโ€™s Byker supermarket this week to keep families fed.

Steve Beharall, Head of the Newcastle United Foundation, said: โ€œThe ongoing pandemic has been challenging for everyone, however it was clear that vulnerable families in Byker are particularly susceptible to bearing the impact of the crisis.

โ€œAt the Foundation we were able to call on our contacts in the community and we were thrilled when Morrisonโ€™s were able to make a substantial donation of essential food items to keep Byker residents going.

โ€œWe have been able to safely collect and quickly distribute products such as long-life milk, pasta, tinned food, tea bags and even little treats like chocolates and cakes, including gluten free products.โ€

He added: โ€œIt may not seem much to some to simply have tea bags or a bar of chocolate, but at Byker Community Trust and Newcastle United Foundation, we know donations like this make a huge difference.โ€

Foundation staff were able to coordinate with BCT and partners to safely distribute the food parcels across the estate, with a view to making regular deliveries of donations in the coming weeks.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive at BCT said: โ€œWe are pleased that our partnership with Newcastle United Foundation has been able to support the delivery of food parcels to those in need, as part of a Byker wide response to the challenges that some of our residents are experiencing during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

โ€œThe support and contribution of Morrisonโ€™s is a much-welcomed addition to this partnership.โ€

Since March, Newcastle United Foundationโ€™s commitment to communities across the North East during the pandemic has seen staff redeployed to join relief efforts for children in self-isolation who would normally receive free school meals.

Hundreds of PUMA footballs, activity packs and home-schooling resources have also been delivered by the charity across Newcastleโ€™s East and West End.

Key workers at Morrisonโ€™s in Byker have also made changes to make food shopping during the pandemic simpler by introducing an NHS Hour to ensure NHS staff are able to stock up on the products they need.

For more information on how to support or donate to Newcastle United Foundationโ€™s United As One or United Byker programmes, email sarah.medcalf@nufc.co.uk


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