Manchester United and Manchester City have donated a combined £100,000 to help food banks in Greater Manchester meet increased demand from vulnerable people as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Following a new cooperation between the MCFC and MUFC Fans’ Foodbanks to launch a fundraising appeal in response to the impact of the coronavirus, each club will donate £50,000 to the Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust support a network of over 1,200 food bank centres, including 19 in the Greater Manchester area which will be the beneficiaries of this donation.
The donations will help local food banks increase capacity and compensate for the temporary loss of food donations on matchdays through the MCFC Fans Foodbank Support and MUFC Fans Foodbank.
These groups usually collect supplies outside Old Trafford and The Etihad before home games but this has been interrupted by the suspension of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement, Manchester City and Manchester United said: “We are proud of the role our supporters play in helping local food banks and recognise the increased strain likely to be placed on these charities by the impact of coronavirus. At a time of challenge for our community, we are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United.”
Commenting on the donation, MCFC Fans Foodbank Support, said: “We’re delighted that City and United have donated such a huge amount to Fans Supporting Foodbanks. This will be an enormous help for the Greater Manchester community at a time when people need it most. We’d like to thank everyone on both sides for demonstrating that hunger doesn’t wear club colours, and for the show of community solidarity.”
A spokesperson for the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said: “MUST has been operating our Fans’ Foodbank donation collection service on Manchester United home matchdays for some time but with the impact of coronavirus we have been forced to switch to appealing for online cash donations only. The news that Manchester United and Manchester City have agreed to make such a large contribution is fantastic news and will make a huge difference supporting vulnerable people in communities across Manchester at this time.”
The Trussell Trust’s senior operations manager Rachel Macklin said: “As the coronavirus pandemic develops, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network. This situation presents a huge additional pressure on already overstretched resources. We may start to see a reduction in food donations and volunteers may become unavailable if they are in the at-risk categories or are self-isolating.
“We’re working closely with our network to understand each food bank’s situation, offer guidance, and work out how we can best support them. We know we won’t be able to do this alone, so we are truly grateful for the support Manchester United and Manchester City are showing local food banks. On behalf of food banks in our network in Manchester we thank you so much.”