Anthony Gordon made a surprise visit to Everton in the Community’s Blue Base Pantry on Thursday morning armed with food and toiletry donations to support the service over the winter months.
The 21-year-old was keen to spend his day off giving back to the local community ahead of Christmas and, upon hearing about the Blue Base pantry, he was keen to make a donation to help those in need.
The Club’s official charity launched the weekly pantry in June 2022 to provide participants and people living in Liverpool 4 with access to discounted food and wrap-around support, such as advice and guidance on benefits, welfare and housing support, access to a registered GP and wellbeing activities.
Before arriving at The Blue Base, the Blues' Academy graduate researched what items were in demand at the pantry then visited Asda Bootle Orrell Park to stock up on non-perishable items and essential toiletries. On arriving at the pantry, Gordon was quick to get stuck in and help staff and volunteers on the food stalls, whilst chatting to residents and participants and sharing some typical Scouse humour.
Reflecting on his time at the pantry, Kirkdale-born Gordon said: “It’s been very rewarding for me to come along here today. Being from the city, I know the struggles that people go through and that there are a lot of things that people can’t afford when it comes to this time of year. It’s incredible to see what Everton in the Community is doing to give back and to help those in need, and it’s been nice to be a part of it and help where I can.
“It’s really special to be a part of it and spend time with the incredible people who work here and those who give up time out of their own day to help others as that’s what life is about.”
Everton in the Community Senior Programme Manager, Adam Howard, added: “It’s been great to welcome Anthony to our Blue Base Pantry this morning and show him first hand what we are doing to support the L4 community during such difficult times. We are really appreciative of his substantial donation and it will go a long way to helping those in need over the next few months.
“He’s a local lad and understands the problems that people in this area face on a daily basis, but I think he was blown away by the light-hearted atmosphere today and the way we’ve removed the stigma around people accessing a food pantry such as ours.”
In addition to contributing food and toiletries, Gordon has made a donation to assist with supplies at the pantry in the coming weeks.
Since launching six months ago, the pantry has seen more than 8,000 people access the service. As many as 165 individuals visited the Blue Base Pantry on the day of Gordon’s visit, the highest number since it was established, emphasising the ever-growing needs of the community caused by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.
The Blue Base Pantry is delivered in partnership with Fans Supporting Foodbanks, St Andrews Community Network, Fareshare and Your Local Pantry and is made possible thanks to the charity’s volunteers, who have donated more than 1,000 hours of their time in support of the pantry over the past six months.
The Blue Base Pantry is now the fourth busiest ‘Your Local Pantry’ in the UK with more than 400 registered members. The Pantry has also saved over 12 tonnes of food from landfill, which equates to more than 80,000kg of CO2 emissions.
As well as providing members with access to essential food and toiletries, Everton in the Community also hosts health screening events on Pantry days, giving residents the opportunity to be tested for diabetes, blood pressure issues and various types of cancer, as well as holding a Covid-19 vaccination pop-up. Other services provided through the Pantry include access to a two-day healthy eating cooking workshop, housing support from Riverside, debt management support, and signposting families to engage in other EitC activities delivered across the Goodison Campus.
Click here find out more about EitC's Blue Base Pantry.