Hundreds of hot meals will be cooked at Villa Park beginning this week, benefitting vulnerable people across Birmingham.
The Aston Villa Foundation’s ‘Villa Kitchen’ initiative is being expanded to provide up to 500 hot meals each and every week, with local organisations distributing them to the people who need them the most.
Funds raised from last year’s ‘Big Villa Sleep Out’ and a personal donation from Aston Villa’s CEO Christian Purslow have made the new venture possible.
Mr Purslow said: “I am delighted to be able to support the Villa Kitchen, particularly during a time where this vital work will be needed more than ever, helping the most vulnerable in our society.
“Aston Villa Football Club and the Aston Villa Foundation will continue to aid those who are in need in the city of Birmingham during these most uncertain of times.”
Villa Kitchen has been running since January, cooking 350 meals each week in partnership with club catering partner Levy UK and distributing them to homeless people across the city through a range of outreach charities and organisations.
The new investment will broaden the range of people they support, aiming to help feed the elderly, people with disabilities, shelters (such as domestic violence and refugee) and families who’ve been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Working with the Active Wellbeing Society, who are coordinating initiatives to tackle food poverty on behalf of Birmingham City Council as part of a ‘Brum Together’ campaign, Villa Kitchen is linking in with the city’s approach to food and hunger.
Head of Foundation Guy Rippon said: “We’re really pleased to expand the reach of the Villa Kitchen initiative. The project was originally set up to support the homeless back in January and it has been very successful.
“The COVID-19 situation means that there are now lots of vulnerable people who aren’t eating as they should, so we are therefore expanding the reach through additional resources committed for the foreseeable future.
“We wanted to ensure that anything we did on this front was linked to a city-wide strategic plan rather than us doing things in silo.
“We are still keen to hear from neighbourhood and community organisations who are helping to feed vulnerable groups for them to become part of the network of distributors for the Villa Kitchen project.”
Any organisations looking to become a distributor for the Villa Kitchen project should contact the Foundation via email at email@example.com.
Supporters can also make a contribution to the work of Villa Kitchen by donating at the Foundation's official Virgin Money Giving page here.