United and City donate combined £100,000 to Manchester food banks

LONDON (Agencies): Manchester United and Manchester City have donated a combined £100,000 to local food banks in a joint initiative between the clubs to fight the threat of coronavirus to those most vulnerable.

The move comes after Fans Supporting Foodbanks told the Guardian on Thursday it was launching a fund with MUFC Foodbanks to help the 19 in the area.

In a joint statement, City and 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. We are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United.”

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.”

A Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (Must) spokesperson 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.”

Each club will donate £50,000 to the Trussell Trust, a network of over 1,200 food bank centres, including 19 in the Greater Manchester area. Rachel Macklin, the senior operations manager, 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 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.”