Lifelong Evertonian Tom Gallagher, joint owner of transportation company JWT Commercial, has donated a van full of goods to the Fans Supporting Foodbanks - and urged fellow Blues to join the cause over a crucial period for the campaign.
The Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative was set up by local Everton and Liverpool supporter groups in conjunction with North Liverpool Foodbank, Anfield Breckside Community Centre, Unite in the Community and the Trussel Trust.
It has received the backing of both football clubs and many other clubs’ fans groups. Ahead of each matchday, volunteers from North Liverpool Foodbank are joined by supporters to help collect food donated by fans.
It is estimated foodbanks across the UK support more than one million people each year, including more than 160,000 in the North West. The North Liverpool Foodbank helps more than 250 people each week in our area with emergency food parcels.
A variety of circumstances could lead to someone being forced to visit a foodback – such as delay or change in welfare payments, low income, illness or sudden unemployment.
JWT Commercial Ltd owners Tom Gallagher and Jon Whiteley, who regularly make food donations to The Whitechapel Centre, were joined by family members and employees Angela Whiteley, Anna Whiteley, Wayne O’Donovan and Diane Bond in delivering the food to the collection, which is situated at the Park End at Goodison Park.
Mr Gallagher said: “We try and do this every year, it’s so important to help out where you can and make a difference in the local community.
It’s good to be able to have a positive impact, we shouldn’t have to in this day and age but sadly that’s the way it is. Fans should try to make a donation when they can at matches - it doesn’t have to be a lot but every little bit helps.”
Dave Kelly, chair of the campaign, said: “It’s such a crucial time of the year for foodbank donations over Christmas and New Year. There are so many families out there that have no means of supporting themselves - donations like Tom’s give them a lifeline and a helping hand in their time of need.
"It’s indicative of this city that we’ve seen such great support recently from football fans and people of the local community all coming together to fight this serious issue.
“Post-Christmas, the appeal is simple to fans attending games, if you have any old socks, clothes or hygiene products, get them donated and we will put them to good use. We will ensure everything we get goes to a worthy family.”
The Fans Supporting Foodbanks donation bins are located at the Park End, close to the Fan Zone, before every home match. Supporters can drop off any non-perishable food items right up until kick-off.