Christmas is one of the toughest times of the year for lots of people. Whilst many families over-indulge during the festive period, others struggle to put even the most basic meal on the table to feed their family - a harrowing reality of where Britain is at in 2018.
At the heart of Football is community, and at the heart of community are good people willing to dedicate their time and money to supporting those in need. No one wants to rely on food banks to feed their children, but while we may feel powerless to fight the institution that has caused his hardship, we can fight to bring a modicum of security to the most vulnerable by giving a few spare coins or an hour of our time over to a cause like this. Where people would otherwise face malnourishment, food banks are the flickering flame of a beacon in an otherwise dark night.
The people at the Sunderland Foodbank do an amazing job of ensuring that families all over Wearside don’t go without - but unless people assist with their kind donations, none of it is possible.
This Saturday, ahead of Sunderland’s game with Bristol Rovers, the Foodbank volunteers will be taking donations from their spot located near the Fanzone. This is an opportunity for supporters to bring a bag or tin of food/toiletries with them on their way into the ground, or to even stick a few quid in the tin.
Whatever you can give, it all helps.
How can you donate?
Supporters attending Saturday’s game against Bristol Rovers can bring their donations to the south east corner of the stadium, adjacent to the Fan Zone site and opposite the ALS building.
The area will be well-signed with Foodbank banners, and the volunteers will be wearing jackets so that you can pick them out from the crowd if you’d like to drop your items off, donate some money or speak to someone about the project.
Donations will be accepted from 12.30pm.
What sort of things can you donate?
- Toiletries – e.g., deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes;
- Household items – e.g., laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid;
- Feminine products – e.g., sanitary towels and tampons;
- Baby supplies – e.g., nappies, baby wipes and baby food. Please note, due to advice from UNICEF Sunderland Foodbank cannot accept donations of formula milk.
- Dry foods - e.g., pasta, biscuits, cereal, porridge, rice;
- Tinned food - e.g., meat, beans, potatoes, fruit, fish, custard, rice pudding, vegetables;
- Jars - e.g., pasta sauces, stir-in sauces, soups;
- Drinks - e.g., coffee, tea, hot chocolate.
Why should you help?
Kate Townsend of Sunderland Foodbanks...
The Christmas period is a particularly hard time for those who rely on the help of their local foodbank. Partnering with the Red and White Army and getting the support from Sunderland AFC has really helped to raise awareness and we hope fans will be out in force again to help.
Andrew Hird of RAWA...
We set up Red and White Army to help supporters have a voice in the running of their football club. Our current owners make that job so much easier it allows us to focus on additional projects such as this. This club is central to the community of Sunderland so it’s natural to get involved and help those in need, especially at this time of year.
Sunderland AFC’s supporter liaison officer Chris Waters...
The Sunderland Foodbank helps those most in need within our community. We are delighted to be able to play our part in supporting it and we would encourage as many supporters as possible to help us to help families in need at this special time of year.
MP for Sunderland Central Julie Elliot...
I would urge everyone who is going to watch Sunderland play on the 15th December against Bristol Rovers to bring something along with them to give to the Sunderland Foodbank.
The work that the fans and the volunteers at the foodbank are doing is wonderful, and it really does show the best of Sunderland, that people are prepared to go out across the Christmas period to support each other and to help each other.