The NGO Penny Appeal and their partners, The Future Group and Aspire to Inspire, help hundreds of families in need, in Rochdale.

According to the Department of Work and Pensions, Rochdale has one of the highest numbers of children living in poverty in the whole of the UK. This Greater Manchester town ranks 14th for relative child poverty in the UK, with 30% of Rochdale children being destitute.

Families that were already struggling with poverty in Rochdale have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. Many struggles to make ends meet to put food on the table for their children.

Since December last year, Penny Appeal’s Holiday Hunger initiative worked in tandem with Greater Manchester grassroots organisations, The Future Group and Aspire to Inspire. They are working tirelessly to support local families without recourse to public funds and children entitled to free school meals.

150 families in need throughout Rochdale were given a helping hand over the December holidays, receiving hot meals and food packs donated and distributed by the international NGO. Volunteers put together 450 sandwich packs for children, including sandwiches, crisps, energy bars and fruit.  They also provided 300 meat packs, 150 cereal variety packs, and 150 non-perishable food parcels, including long life milk, canned goods, pasta, rice, biscuits, tea bags, and sugar juice, jam, and porridge. 450 hot meals of rice and chicken curry were also distributed to hungry low-income families during this time.

Several families now live in Rochdale that has immigrated to the UK from war-torn countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere. They are in dire need of support. Poor families without recourse to public funds have little to no options for finding help in their communities. This makes programmes like the ‘Holiday Hunger’ initiative so noteworthy.

One single mother with 3 children who moved to Rochdale from Palestine described the programme as a “lifeline project”. She explained that her universal credit had been stopped. She had no means to support her children, so the Holiday Hunger packs she received were hugely appreciated.

Another Rochdale family from Sudan expressed that they had not eaten meat dishes in months because of how expensive meat is to buy. The two halal meat packs they received from Penny Appeal and The Future Group was a lovely surprise for the family. These were met with warm smiles and a chorus of joyful shouts from the children.

“Thank you very much. The children were delighted and pleased. God bless you and give you strength for all your good efforts.” said one mother, as she collected her food packs at the Meadowfields Community Centre.

Families that have no access to public funds often slip through the cracks in society. With no support, their struggle is harsh and ongoing. Charities like Penny Appeal and their partners rely on public donations to help continue with programmes like the Holiday Hunger initiative to support Britain’s most vulnerable.

If you’d like to learn more about Penny Appeal’s ongoing projects to see how you can help those in need here in the UK this winter, visit for more information.

Penny Appeal, an award-winning international humanitarian charity, was set up in 2009 to provide a range of life-saving solutions in over 30-crisis hit countries. As one of the fastest-growing charities in the sector, Penny Appeal has transformed over 20 million lives and empowered communities worldwide. They’re helping to break the poverty cycle through their simple vision – taking your small change and making a big difference. Penny Appeal is a twice Guinness-World-Record holder and works closely with leading celebrities and globally renowned institutions in the UK and worldwide in the fight against poverty.