Blackpool supporters launch initiative to support local food banks

More and more people are now relying on food banks
More and more people are now relying on food banks

Blackpool supporters are being asked to donate as many food items as possible for two local charities.

Fan groups the Tangerine Knights and Blackpool Supporters' Trust (BST) have come up with the initiative in the lead up to Christmas.

Representatives from both groups will be outside the West Stand main entrance from 1.15pm this Saturday ahead of Blackpool's home game against Rotherham United.

The charities benefiting from the donations will be His Provision (Central Drive) and Home Start (St Annes).

The two groups released the following statement: "There should not be any food banks in 2017 but the harsh reality is that the local community has been failed by those in authority.

"They have grown exponentially and now form an essential part of Britain’s social safety net, with an estimated 2,000 distribution centres across the country.

"To use a food bank, a referral is needed, typically from the social service or housing support officers, but also from agencies such as local charities or Citizens Advice.

"Tens of thousands of volunteers nationally work more than four million hours a year stocktaking, picking up and distributing food and fundraising, according to a recent study by the Trussell Trust, a national food bank network, and the Independent Food Aid Network.

"This year, the government’s rollout of its new benefits system, universal credit, has swelled the number of people seeking help because of the six-week delay before claimants receive payments.

"The public, which donates 90 per cent of the food that is stored away, is also under pressure from a combination of low real wage growth and rising prices. Therefore we urge as many fans as possible to come to the ground this Saturday, December 9.

"Every donation, no matter how great or small, will be appreciated by the charities. Alternatively, why not have a bit of fun and see if you can donate a shopping list that totals £3.12 or if you're feeling really generous £31.27?"

Supporters are also urged to bring any of the following items:

1. Toiletries: deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes

2. Household items: laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid

3. Feminine products: sanitary towels and tampons

4. Baby supplies: nappies, baby wipes and baby food – but not formula milk due to UNICEF regulations.

5. Cereals

6. Soup

7. Pasta, rice, pasta sauce

8. Beans, tinned meat and tinned vegetables.

9. Tinned fruit

10. Biscuits