Team tackles city poverty

Unity AFC's food drive this Christmas
Unity AFC's food drive this Christmas
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A Sheffield football club is holding a food drive at their upcoming home games - to help collect food for local families in need this Christmas.

Women’s team AFC Unity, based at Hillsborough College, are encouraging players, managers and members of the public to bring along food donations when they come to games in the next few weeks, which can then be distributed to food banks across the city.

The Football for Food campaign is the latest initiative from the grassroots team, which is committed to using football as a tool for making positive social change in the community.

Team members recently visited Parson Cross Initiative’s food bank to see for themselves how their collected food donations are making a difference at this time of year.

Player Sarah Richards said: “It makes you realise that you take for granted that you always have food in your cupboard and are not struggling like a lot of people are. One in three users of the foodbank we visited were children under the age of 18. Children should have a childhood and not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

“If you see the work of a food bank first hand, you can take it back to others and spread the word of how important donations are. With as much as 50 kilos of food being collected at any one home game, we’re keen to keep the momentum of our campaign going.”

Recent figures revealed that as many as one in five Sheffield households are suffering from food poverty.

Community worker Nick Waterfield, who coordinates the Parson Cross food bank, said: “The football for food campaign is a brilliant thing twofold. “Every bit of food is important, but it’s also about sending a message of solidarity and support out to the local community.

AFC Unity manager Jay Baker said: “The enthusiasm of our players in tackling food poverty in Sheffield is fantastic.”