Tuesday 4 December 2018

Charlton Athletic get behind local Foodbanks

The Club have announced plans to support Greenwich residents in most need over Christmas by working alongside Addick volunteers and Greenwich Foodbank to collect food donations at upcoming home games against Wimbledon (Saturday 15th December) and Gillingham a week later.

The idea came from local lad, Samuel Spong, who was inspired by the similar initiative started by football fans in Liverpool and the north-west under the banner of "Fans Supporting Foodbanks." Post-Grad Samuel approached the Club and Greenwich Foodbank who were both very keen to support the initiative.

Foodbanks are not a simple free food handout. They give to people with clear need identified by a variety of local agencies - Citizen's Advice, GP's, Housing Welfare Officers, social services, Children's Centres and some local charities. Food is exchanged for authorised vouchers and is intended to be a short-term emergency stop-gap measure to tide people over until their underlying issues are resolved. The introduction of Universal Credit is driving a peak in demand as people with no resources to fall back on are suffering initial delays in getting benefit payments transitioned onto the new system. It's an oversight that could only be made by people comfortable in their employment, with no comprehension of what living from one-day to the next actually involves, nor any idea how people might not have savings to fall-back on or the ability to borrow from anyone.

If you are planning on attending either of the two pre-Christmas home matches, why not put a couple of tins aside and hand them in to the collection van which will be positioned inside the West Stand gate prior to kick-off? The Foodbank are currently short of tinned peas, carrots, fruit, rice and custard as well as long life fruit juice. 

It would be great to see this really work over Christmas and possibly become a regular feature at home matches. The Club have really embraced the idea and are engaging with Greenwich Foodbank - some of the players have expressed an interest, too, which will help raise the profile of this worthwhile initiative.

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