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Footy for Food "Kicks Off" Inaugural Event to Raise Awareness and Much Needed Donations for Local Foodbanks


September 12, 2013 - London, United Kingdom

Footy for Food (FFF) is set to launch on September 15, 2013 with its inaugural football-for-food game to be played at the Warren Street Station Football Cage. Channeling Britain's passion for football, and riding the legacy and energy of the 2012 London Olympics, Footy for Food will host its first game in support of local Trussell Trust foodbanks.

Loat had a dream three years ago to use hockey as a vehicle for social change in Canada. In 2010, the then-21-year-old university student created Five Hole for Food and embarked on a road trip that saw him set up ball hockey rinks in major Canadian cities where he would invite the public to come out and play. After four national tours raising the equivalent of more than 200,000 kg of food, the British ex-pat is returning to the UK to take his passion for football and turn it into direct and immediate action.

Today, Loat is using sport as a vehicle for social change in Canada, the United States, and now the United Kingdom with events in major metropolitans such as New York, Toronto and London. Loat's infectious enthusiasm has grown a volunteer driven team that is raising food for the foodbanks in their greatest time of need while also demonstrating that a generation hungry for change is driving the future of philanthropy.

"In the UK people inherit the teams they're fans of from their parents, and their parents' parents. Last year we saw how the Olympics took this country by storm! It's not about the crest on your chest, it is about coming together with a common passion and goal," said Loat. "It is our responsibility to help those in need, and this is why the FFF team is challenging people across the UK to play football for food."

Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould says: "The sheer volume of people who are turning to foodbanks because they can't afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep. Footy for Food is a brilliant initiative that has the potential to make a real impact at a time of great need." Trussell Trust foodbanks have recently seen the biggest ever increase in numbers turning to them for help, providing 350,000 people with emergency food in 2012-13. This is a staggering 170 per cent more than the previous year, and three new foodbanks are currently opening every week to help meet demand.

Londoners and fans of all teams are invited to participate in the inaugural, free, drop-in football game by simply bringing the appropriate gear and a can of food, or a cash donation for the foodbank.

The details for the game are as follows:



When: September 15, noon
Where: Warren Street Station Football Cage

"The need for food banks has been rising exponentially. Coming back to the UK and being able to support a cause that's close to home both literally and figuratively is incredibly important," said Richard Loat, FFF Founder and CEO. "Every year, millions of Britons deal with hunger, year-round, no matter the season."

Loat's success has previously been rooted in flagship national tours and there are plans for a Footy for Food tour across the United Kingdom in 2014. After raising more than half a million pounds of food for foodbanks abroad, the British ex-pat is determined to bring a winning formula for sport and philanthropy back to the United Kingdom.

Notes to Editor:

About Footy for Food

Footy for Food (FFF) is a national grassroots, volunteer-driven, social, not-for-profit organisation aimed at raising food and awareness for a cause that affects millions of British people - hunger. FFF brings communities across the United Kingdom together by using football as a vehicle for social change. FFF is launching its inaugural event in London and will return with a national British tour bringing communities together through football and the fight against hunger. For more information about FFF or to donate online, visit www.footyforfood.com.

FFF Facebook page: www.facebook.com/footyforfood.

Suggested tweet: Will You Play Football for Food? Join @footyforfood in helping your local foodbank. ow.ly/oIZcl #FFF

About Us

 -- Footy for Food (FFF) is a national, grassroots, volunteer-driven, social, not-for-profit organisation aimed at raising food and awareness for a cause that affects millions of Britons a year - hunger.-- FFF brings communities across the UK together by using football as a vehicle for social change. FFF organises free drop-in street football games in major cities to collect food and monetary donations and to create awareness for community foodbanks.-- FFF's flagship event will launch in May 2014 with a tour across the UK visiting Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham and London.-- FFF was created in 2013 by Richard Loat, a British ex-pat living in Canada following the success of his Five Hole for Food campaign in Canada, which combines his love for hockey with a grassroots campaign to raise awareness and solicit donations for foodbanks across the country. After raising more than 500,000 of food in three years, Loat's returning to his home turf to launch a concept modelled after Five Hole for Food, except based on his love for the UK's national sport - football.-- FFF events are free, drop-in street football games. Participants and spectators are simply encouraged to bring a food or monetary donation to join in the festivities. FFF events will benefit foodbanks in each respective community. 

Official social media channels for Footy for Food:

- Twitter: @FootyforFood

- Founder: Richard Loat, @richardloat

- Website: FootyforFood.com

- Tumblr: Footy for Food Tumblr Page

- Instagram: Footy for Food Instagram Page

- YouTube: Footy for Food YouTube Channel

- Facebook: Footy for Food Facebook Page

- People can also make donations online via PayPal on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Footy for Food?

Footy for Food (FFF) is a national, grassroots, volunteer-driven, social, not-for-profit organisation aimed at raising food and awareness for a cause that affects millions of Britons a year - hunger.

FFF brings communities across the United Kingdom together by using football as a vehicle for social change. FFF organises free-to-participate, drop-in football games in major cities to collect food and monetary donations and to create awareness for community food banks.

FFF's marquee event will launch in 2014 and be an annual 10-city cross-country road trip that will see free, drop-in ball hockey games played across the UK. Events in each city are organised and coordinated in partnership with local food banks in each community.

How do I participate?

Show up with a donation to the food bank! It's that simple. We have drop-in football games organised in each city and food bank volunteers will be on site to collect donations.

When is the launch scheduled?

Footy for Food launches on September 15, 2013 with its inaugural game in Trafalgar Square from noon to 4 p.m.

Who came up with the idea?

Richard Loat, a British ex-pat and MBA graduate, is the founder of FFF. During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Loat realised how sports can bring an entire country together. This is how he came up with the idea to organise a cross-country road trip by leveraging the country's love of hockey to help Canadian food banks and thus Five Hole for Food was born. The concept: play ball hockey in major cities to create awareness and generate donations for local food banks. This winning formula of sport for food has seen FHFF collect the equivalent of over than 500,000 lbs of food. Loat is now channeling his passion for football to make huge impact on his home turf.

Why foodbanks?

Choosing to work with foodbanks was an easy decision. We can make a huge impact with a little bit of time, work and, ultimately, food. By helping foodbanks we can make an immediate tangible impact where the donations raised will go to people in need that very week. The shortages that foodbanks face these days - especially during the summer - is something we can help address.

How are you using social media to promote Five Hole for Food?

FFF's roots began via social media and its success continues as a result. Many of our volunteers, organisers and sponsors are brought on board through connections made from Twitter and football bloggers. When the organisation launches on September 15, 2013, Richard Loat and his team will file reports from the road. They will share photos and videos through Twitter updates, blogging and the Footy for Food Facebook page. Supporters will be able to live vicariously through the team in whichever city they play and following their favourite sport wherever it's played for food.

Where do the funds raised from the events go to?

All of the funds raised from each city's events will go directly to the foodbank we've partnered within that community:

London: Westminster Foodbank

Contacts:
Media inquiries: Footy for Food
Richard Loat
+44 (0) 7925 404430
richard@footyforfood.com
www.footyforfood.com

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