The Hubb Foundation to continue free meals through August thanks to JCB funds

Port Vale's Chief Operating Officer Claire Halket, Adam Yates and Carol Shanahan

After being supported during lockdown, more vulnerable families in Stoke-on-Trent will be fed throughout the summer.

Founded last year by businesswoman and Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan, The Hubb Foundation aimed to provide a lifeline for families by providing free activities for children and free meals during the school holidays.

But throughout lockdown, in collaboration with the football club, its Foundation, Synectics Solutions, Summit Hospitality and other partners, it has delivered more than 100,000 meals, as well as educational activities and welfare packs to homes across the city.

JCB supported the charity’s work by donating thousands of meals through its ‘Food for Communities’ initiative.

As lockdown is lifted, that scheme has stopped.

But the Staffordshire digger maker has donated £15,000 to The Hubb Foundation to keep the good work going.

JCB made and supplied ready meals to The Hubb Foundation during lockdown

Former Vale player Adam Yates, who now runs the operational side of the charity, said: "Just before lockdown we saw there might be a gap within the city, particularly the food aspect.

"We knew families that might need some support, whether that was people losing their jobs or isolating.

"I went to the city council and schools, and asked them to come up with a vulnerable families list so we would feed them every week throughout August.

"That is where the support from JCB has now come in.

"They have plugged the gap we would have missed with them up until the end of August."

Carol said: “The summer holidays this year will be like no other and we are extremely grateful to JCB for their continued support in these unprecedented times.

“Thanks to their donation, we are now able to carry on delivering free food and socially-distanced activities to children across the city at a time where there’s never been a greater need.”

A JCB spokesman added: “Our ‘Food for Our Communities’ initiative saw 35,000 meals delivered to vulnerable families across Staffordshire from April to June.

“We are delighted to extend our support to Hubb Foundation to ensure those most in need continue to receive help during the school holidays.”

Throughout the summer the charity will be working with children and schools to provide free activities, as they have during other holidays.

But due to coronavirus, they have had to make some changes to the programme they had planned.

Adam said: "It will be very much more targeted, and children will be working in smaller numbers of bubbles.

"In terms of the number of sessions we are running, 230 generally in a six week period is now down to half that number.

"But for us as a charity and particularly the schools we are working with, it is important for a number of those children that they are still engaging with school, and receiving the support we can offer."

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