Children's cricket charity delivers free meals to families in need

Capital Kids Cricket staff and volunteers with food items

Capital Kids Cricket staff and volunteers with food items to be delivered to families in need in Newham. - Credit: Capital Kids Cricket

A charity which aims to change the lives of disadvantaged children through cricket has turned to providing free meals during the pandemic.

Since early February, Capital Kids Cricket (CKC) staff and volunteers have been delivering fortnightly food boxes for children living in, or at risk of, poverty.

The project is supporting about 30 children in Newham and 40 across Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Children with a food box delivered by the Capital Kids Cricket project.

Children with a food box delivered by the Capital Kids Cricket project. - Credit: Capital Kids Cricket

Each box contains enough long-life food items, along with a voucher to buy fresh ingredients, for at least 10 meals per child.

By the end of this month, when its funding runs out, CKC will have provided more than 2,800 meals, including 1,200 in Newham.

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CKC chief executive Shahidul Alam said: “In all my years I have never witnessed this level of human anxiety and this has had a direct knock-on effect on people and their wellbeing.

“We hope this small gesture will help our community and it has been heart-warming to listen to sentiments expressed by recipients excited at the prospect of human contact and food parcels."

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Parents are also being encouraged to cook with their children, teaching them valuable life skills.

Families are sharing pictures and videos of the meals they're preparing at home as well as recipes, which are being complied into a recipe book that will be distributed to all the families.

CKC operations and development manager Joe Fisher said: “This is a completely new experience for CKC, but one that we have embraced wholeheartedly.

“We are proud to have been able to provide such a valuable service to the communities we serve and hope to secure further funding to allow us to continue it long into the future.” 

Since November, with funding from Charity Aid Foundation, CKC has adapted its delivery in response to the pandemic, which then expanded to include the food box deliveries.

CKC has provided virtual activities including a walking group, women’s only aerobics, boxing classes and family cricket activities in an effort to keep people fit and active throughout lockdown.

It has also looked to support the mental health and wellbeing of families via online discussion groups and workshops, which has created a support network and new friendships between families.

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