We might have just entered the final international break of the season, but that doesn’t mean Manchester City fans are pausing their off-field community initiatives until the Blues return to action.
MCFC Fans Foodbank Support have become a staple of matchdays at the Etihad Stadium this season, collecting food donations for Manchester Central Foodbank from their gazebo at the top of Sir Howard Bernstein Way. With the cost of living surging to unprecedented levels in recent months and more and more Mancunians slipping below the poverty line, the work they do is more important than ever.
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With City’s next weekend home game – MCFFFFS only have the capacity to collect at weekends – two-and-a-half weeks away, the group have been invited to a fundraiser on Thursday evening by Unite North West, the local branch of the UK’s largest trade union. MFCCFFS will be joined at Birch Community Center (M14 5JT) by Manchester Central Foodbank and Unite from 19:30.
The night will feature a raffle to raise funds and speakers including Dave Kelly from Fans Supporting Foodbanks and MCFCFFS. The speakers will cover topics like the national Right to Food campaign, Manchester’s food bank need, how it has increased and what MCFCFFS does week to week.
“This fundraiser fills a gap nicely between weekend home games and so allows us to keep supporting food banks in between,” Alex Timperley of MCFFFFS tells the MEN. “While we are a football fan group at heart, we also work with rental and employment unions and other community groups as poverty cuts across all sections of society.
“The weekend matchday donations are extremely important to us and are our bread and butter. Without donations from City fans, the food bank would not have been able to meet demand over the winter and into the spring, so City fans’ donations have directly saved Almost two tonnes of food and hundreds of pounds have been donated so far this season.”
If you’d like to attend Thursday’s fundraiser then please make sure to take either a food or cash donation along with you, no matter the size. Alternatively, if you are in Manchester city center this weekend then the Retro Football Fair will be taking food donations on behalf of MCFFFFS at Sachas Hotel.
They have also teamed up with a group of Manchester United fans to run a season-long online fundraiser in support of the 19 Trussell Trust food banks in the city. As ever, the folks at MCFCFFS would be grateful if match-going fans can take donations to their stall at the top of Sir Howard Bernstein Way (opposite ASDA and next to the CFA bridge) on matchdays. They’ll be collecting before City’s next weekend home game, a top of the table clash with Liverpool on Sunday 10th April.
Non-perishable goods like canned food, long-life milk, pasta sauces and biscuits and non-food items like toiletries are always welcomed, but please avoid donating foods that require refrigerating. For more information, search @MCFCfoodbank on Twitter or Facebook.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.