Coronavirus: Manchester United and Manchester City donate combined £100,000 to support local food banks
Each club is donating £50,000 to The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of over 1,200 food bank centres
Last Updated: 21/03/20 2:21pm
Manchester United and Manchester City have donated a combined £100,000 to support food banks in Greater Manchester to meet increased demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each club is donating £50,000 to The Trussell Trust. 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.
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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.
The donations come alongside ongoing work by the Manchester United Foundation and City in the Community, as part of a wider response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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."
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 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.
"As the coronavirus pandemic develops, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network," said Rachel Macklin, operations manager at Trussell Trust.
"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."
Supporters who would like to make a donation to the Fans Supporting Foodbanks coronavirus fundraising appeal should click here.
If you are in need of emergency food support or are interested in supporting the Trussell Trust click here.
What others are doing
A number of clubs have launched initiatives and fundraising efforts following the suspension of all football due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea have made their Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available to NHS staff assisting with the coronavirus outbreak.
The club will allow NHS workers to use the hotel for the next two months and the offer is open to any staff working at hospitals "in the north-west London region" but that could be extended.
According to a club statement, the initiative is the idea of owner Roman Abramovich and he will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.
Liverpool have made a £40,000 donation to Fans Supporting Foodbanks, while excess food at Melwood and Anfield has been donated.
Tottenham sent surplus food to a London-based charity which aims to tackle food waste and hunger in the capital.
Burnley and Everton are supporting food banks and food delivery to vulnerable members of the community.
Watford have set-up 'Hornets At Home' to provide assistance to elderly and disabled supporters during the crisis, while Brighton are ringing self-isolating elderly fans to offer support and have donated food that would have been used in hospitality areas to a homeless charity.
Aston Villa distributed 1,000 packed lunches intended for matchday staff at their postponed game with Chelsea to local homeless organisations and sheltered accommodation units.
Newcastle also donated 1,200 pies and a range of cold meats to a food bank after last weekend's postponed match and West Ham have donated toiletries and toilet rolls to a local homeless shelter.
Wolves and its ownership group Fosun have donated 2,300 pieces of protective equipment to the city of Wolverhampton.
Norwich have launched a leaflet for supporters to hand-out in the local community to offer support any potentially vulnerable neighbours.