Women’s football team collecting food for Sheffield’s poverty-stricken

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A women’s football team from Sheffield is collecting bags full of food for some of the city’s most needy families.

Throughout the season AFC Unity use all their games they’ve used it to collect food parcels. The donations of food come from the players, their families and even their opponents.

Up to 50 kilograms or so of food arrives at each of their home games and this goes to the Sheffield Food Collective to distribute. The food is passed on to individual food banks locally who then give it to those most in need.

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Finalo Fitzpatrick, team captain said: “Whilst we’re passionate about playing and winning, we are also passionate about this initiative. We’re about helping people, reaching out to the community and embracing it.

“The momentum for the campaign and the support that we’ve have, has really grown. We’ve had donations from local schools and from our opposition who bring and donate food at games which is really fantastic.”

AFC Unity was set up to reach beyond football, harking back to the grassroots game being rooted in the local community, and this is something that caught the eye of healthy fast food restaurant Nourish, whose passion for helping people and good food is genuine, as they intend to prove that fast food can be healthy, and that not all fast food companies are driven by money.

AFC Unity – now supported by Nourish as official club sponsors – and the club has also become partners with the Sheffield Food Collective for a “Football for Food” initiative that raises awareness of food poverty in Sheffield, and uses women’s football to help influence positive change.

Laura Burn Acaster of Sheffield Food Collective said: “One in every five people in Sheffield are living in poverty. On top of that, the number of food banks has grown from just three in 2010 to a whopping seventeen, plus a number of other food share programmes and food poverty solutions which don’t classify themselves as ‘food banks’.

“We are very happy to collaborate with AFC Unity to collect food donations for our partnered food banks, raise awareness of food poverty in our city and encourage others to help in any way they can. Together we can help ensure that all of us get enough to eat.”

Eva Egginton, Women, Girls and Inclusion Officer at the County FA said; “It’s a big thank to AFC Unity and everyone who brings along the food donations from the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA. It is a very positive and practical way of helping those in need, especially at Christmas.”