Everton players will mark the fifth anniversary of Fans Supporting Foodbanks by wearing a special patch with the initiative’s logo on their warm-up shirts ahead of this weekend’s Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.
The patches commemorate five years to the day that Dave Kelly, Ian Byrne MP and Robbie Daniels put tribal colours aside to collect food in the hope of supplying the growing demand for foodbanks on Merseyside.
Since then, Fans Supporting Foodbanks has received the backing of both football clubs and the people in the city as well as other clubs and fans’ groups across the country.
The distinctive Fans Supporting Foodbanks collection van had been a regular fixture at both Goodison Park and Anfield over the past five years. With Blues and Reds now supporting from home, there are still ways to support the campaign and help tackle food poverty across the city as foodbanks become an even more important community resource as Merseyside lives through the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts of stricter lockdown safety measures.
Fans can instead make charitable donations to Everton's Blue Family campaign by clicking here or Emergency Foodbank Appeal in support of the Trussell Trust foodbank network, which provides emergency assistance to families and vulnerable people living in food poverty.
Food donations can also be made directly to St Andrews Community Network Monday to Friday between 9am-4pm, 16-18 Larkhill Lane, Clubmoor, Liverpool, L13 9BR.
Dave Kelly, Fans Supporting Foodbanks, said: "The Merseyside Derby is unique in world football. Unlike many others we have divided loyalties with Reds and Blues in the same family, both supporting our respective clubs with pride and passion. This City unlike no other, understands the concept of solidarity, that truly encapsulates what we do. Food insecurity continues to grow, the 5th anniversary gives us all the opportunity to reflect on our initiative but also to thank supporters and the clubs who have joined us on our journey.”
The warm-up tops worn by Everton’s players will be signed and auctioned to raise much-needed funds to sustain the demand of emergency food parcels as part of Everton in the Community’s Blue Family campaign as the Liverpool city region continues to be impacted even further by the pandemic.
Ian Byrne, Fans Supporting Foodbanks, said “It’s brilliant to see the fantastic support for Fans Supporting Foodbanks continue in hugely worrying times for our communities. The support of both clubs ahead of the Derby this week shows that the adage Unity Is Strength is alive and kicking on Merseyside.”
Everton was the first football club in the country to mobilise a targeted campaign to support the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of its community during this pandemic. The ‘Blue Family’ campaign - launched on March 20 - is still being delivered collaboratively by the Club and it’s official charity with nearly 17,000 vulnerable people and families supported so far.
By working with Fans Supporting Foodbanks and North Liverpool Foodbank, Everton in the Community has donated more than £20,000 of produce, charity staff have delivered more than 5,300 emergency food parcels and distributed emergency foodbank vouchers to individuals and families living across Liverpool, in addition to purchasing and delivering utilities and phone vouchers, medical prescriptions for the elderly and medicines for a terminally-ill child.
Sarah Atherton, Everton in the Community Neighbourhood Manager, said: “Fans Supporting Foodbanks has been ever present at Goodison matchdays and we are proud to still be supporting their work five years on, although we wish that the provision wasn’t needed. Everton and Everton in the Community has worked closely with North Liverpool Foodbank and Dave, Ian and Robbie from Fans Supporting Foodbanks throughout our Blue Family campaign.
"Our players wearing the Fans Supporting Foodbanks patch on our warm-up t-shirts will help to raise awareness and continue to remind people that they can still make donations, providing vital support to our local area and a real lifeline for those needing a helping hand.”
How to donate:
To support the work carried out by Everton in the Community, North Liverpool Foodbank and Fans Supporting Foodbanks, you can donate to Everton’s Blue Family campaign by clicking here
Alternatively, donations can be made to Fans Supporting foodbanks by visiting https://donorbox.org/fanssupportingfoodbanks5years or directly to the North Liverpool Foodbank by simply texting FOODBANKFC to 70460 to donate. Donations will cost £5, plus your standard network message rate.
People can also donate food directly to St Andrews Community Network, 16-18 Larkhill Lane, Clubmoor, Liverpool, L13 9BR from Monday to Friday between 9am-4pm.
Some of the priority items include:
- UHT milk
- Long-life juice or cordial
- Jar pasta/curry sauce
- Tinned meat
- Tinned vegetables
- Instant mash
- Rice pudding/custard
- Washing tablets
- Shower gel