Singer Liam Payne has helped provide more than 360,000 meals to people struggling as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The One Direction star has donated to the Trussell Trust charity to support more than 100 food bank centres in Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol as they continue to provide help to people in crisis.
The donation will help the food banks provide hundreds of thousands of meals as the charity warned more people are likely to need a food bank’s help as a result of the pandemic, particularly those who are not eligible for sick pay or have unstable jobs.
Payne’s donation will enable the Trussell Trust to launch a crisis fund for food banks to help with recruiting additional staff, hiring delivery vehicles or extra space, or, if necessary and available, buying food.
The singer said: “It’s not right that anyone in our country is unable to afford food. Food banks do incredible work to help the people most in need of support.
“It’s vital that we get support to those people right now, as this crisis unfolds.
“The Trussell Trust is working with food banks across the country to ensure emergency help is there for people who don’t have money for the basics.
“But I’m also donating because of the work they do to work towards a future where no-one needs a food bank – we can’t end the conversation with getting emergency food to people, as vital as that is.
“When we’re out the other side of this, we need to look at why there are people in our country who don’t have enough money for food.
“I want to play my part in finding a solution to ensure people have enough money to buy their own food – and end the need for food banks.”
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We are so grateful to Liam for this generous donation.
“This will help us continue to support our network of food banks to provide the best possible emergency help to people referred at an uncertain time.
“We’re working with food banks across the country to make big changes to the way food banks work, so we can get emergency food to people in the safest way possible.
“This isn’t easy. Our main priority is the safety of everyone at a food bank, and having support like this helps us ensure that emergency support can continue to be available in the safest possible way.
“But ultimately, no-one should need to use a food bank. Everyone should be able to afford their own food. Liam’s support will help people in the Midlands and other key cities get the emergency support they need today, while working towards a future where people have enough money for the essentials in life.”
Last year, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided 1.6 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis, with more than half a million of them going to children.