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Newcastle United and Foundation give deprived families and veterans the Christmas they deserve with festive food hamper delivery

Newcastle United Foundation and Club staff are volunteering their time and energy this Christmas to ensure North East families and veterans can enjoy their Christmas Day with a delivery of festive treats.

Around 135 festive food hampers have been hand-prepared by teams of volunteers, all dedicated to supporting deprived communities facing extra financial pressures this December.

Each hamper contains ยฃ50 worth of food, including a mix of festive essentials and luxuries to give children and adults the Christmas they deserve.

Families and veterans supported by Launchpad at Byker Community Trustโ€™s Avondale House, Building Futures East, Fenham Association of Residents and Play Inn Newcastle, living in disadvantaged Newcastle neighbourhoods, will receive deliveries of the hampers between December 20 and 21.

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: โ€œThis year has been incredibly challenging for all of us in so many ways and the financial impact of coronavirus is one that will continue to hurt our most disadvantaged communities the most.

โ€œWe are proud to be delivering these luxury food hampers to families and veterans who may struggle to put any presents under the tree or a Christmas dinner on the table for their loved ones this year.โ€

He added: โ€œSince March, our hardworking teams have safely delivered more than 12,500 food parcels to neighbourhoods from Berwick to County Durham and it is fantastic to top that figure with a few treats for those most in need this Christmas.โ€

Families can expect to find hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, Christmas cake, mince pies, shortbread biscuits, crackers, nuts and satsumas in each hamper, alongside a number of staple food items including tea and coffee, cereal, tinned fruit, jams and spreads.

Mark Rowland, Project Manager at the FAR Community Centre in Fenham, said the deliveries are โ€œawesomeโ€, adding: โ€œWe really appreciate the support of Newcastle United and the Newcastle United Foundation โ€“ I am sure it will make a huge difference to the families we will pass these onto.โ€

Gill Keeka, Newcastle United Foundation Development Manager, said: โ€œTo see so many members of Foundation and Club staff answer our call to help others just before Christmas has been fantastic.

โ€œWe couldnโ€™t have provided these luxury hampers without the generosity of staff at Sainsburyโ€™s Falconar Street store and our partner charities out in the communities we work with each day.

โ€œRobertsonโ€™s โ€“ the construction company building NUCASTLE at the moment โ€“ are also donating vans for us to transport the hampers from St. Jamesโ€™ Park to Byker, Fenham and Walker. We are so grateful for everyoneโ€™s support and we hope it helps spread some festive cheer across Newcastle!โ€

The hampers have been prepared during a period when Newcastle United Foundation โ€“ the official charity arm of Newcastle United โ€“ have also organised distributed more than 800 childrenโ€™s activity packs stuffed with Magpies merchandise, family games and sports equipment.

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