THE FOOTBALL community and Malvern Hills District Council leader have joined forces to offer to create a new food collection point to help those struggling during the pandemic.
It began when Simon Secretan, Chair of Leigh and Bransford Badgers FC, approached Coun Sarah Rouse to create the Malvern Hills Foodbank donation area at the home of Malvern Town FC.
Coun Rouse agreed to fund the weatherproof container to store the food from her Ward Budget.
Chris Pinder, Chairman of Malvern Town FC, agreed to host the donation bin at the HDAnywhere Stadium, where The Badgers carry out their winter training on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.
The club has 24 teams, with ages from under-fives right through to under-17s.
Mr Secretan hopes by tapping into the generosity of the club’s ‘Badger Family’ – the support network to over 300 boys and girls – collectively they will be able to make a significant contribution to help feed those in need.
Malvern Town FC supporters are also being urged to donate items on match days and the public are also welcome to drop food off during The Badgers’ training sessions.
Malvern Hills Foodbank provides three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food for people who are referred to them by various organisations.
The aim is to make sure nobody who is in crisis goes hungry. As well as food, people will also be directed to other support to help tackle the reasons people needed to be referred to the foodbank.
Since forming in 2013, Malvern Hills Foodbank has given out 12,000 three-day emergency food supplies and 160,000kg of food has been donated.
Mr Secretan said: “With so many players, if they bring just one item weekly, every other week or monthly, what a massive difference we can make to the community that surrounds both clubs. We hope ‘when we train or play, we donate’ will become the norm.”
And Coun Rouse said it was another wonderful example of the amazing community spirit in our district.
“Sadly, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is going to increase the need for the service our foodbanks provide and schemes like this one are going to be important so we can make sure nobody goes hungry.”
Peter Buchanan, Chair of Malvern Hills Foodbank, said he was delighted to know the football community was supporting it.
“We wish that as a society we did not need to have foodbanks and that everyone had sufficient money to meet their needs.
“However, as long as the need remains, we will seek to help the most vulnerable in our society, which we can only do thanks to the generosity of so many in the Malvern district.”
Chris Pinder, Chair of Malvern Town FC, said: “If every fan brought just one item of food for our Foodbank collection box before every home game, we’d easily fill it.
“I’m asking everyone to raid their cupboards and let’s do our bit.”
A full list of items the Foodbank accepts is available at www.malvernhills.foodbank.org.uk.
Currently they are particularly short of fruit squash, tinned fish, tinned fruit, tinned potatoes, shower gel, deodorant, kitchen towels and toilet rolls.