Guest post by John Ratomski
Irons Supporting Foodbanks began collecting foodbank donations from West Ham fans at the end of December and since that time have collected approx. ½ tonne of foodstuffs and toiletries, plus approx. £2500 in cash for emergency purchases needed by Newham Foodbank.
Just as we were beginning to get momentum with our collections which Newham Foodbank were relying on, we’ve lost our opportunity to collect from those attending the London Stadium and Olympic Park on match days.’
‘Newham were depending on the extra donations generated by West Ham fans and visitors to the Olympic Park. We were getting more donations from regulars, and with everyone else, we were contributing approx. £500-600 of items and cash at each game. They are now struggling to get donations to fulfil demand. Last Friday evening one of the volunteers preparing food packs advised that they’re even running short of tea, coffee and sugar.’
‘The Foodbank now gives out a few hundred emergency 3-day food packs a month from their 7 centres across the borough, 7 days a week. They really need our help. Just a few pounds donated to give.net/newham_foodbank will make a difference, and they’ve seen some extra donations there over the last few days. Sadly, they’re being quoted 2-3 week delivery delays for supermarket deliveries to their warehouse.’
‘We’ve seen that Delaware North donated nearly 200 lunch packs due for Sunday’s match to the Whitechapel Mission, a great gesture. Newham isn’t set up to distribute fresh food, they don’t have the facility. The best that they can do for any which comes their way is to leave it in a ‘help yourself’ box outside the main door of the Beckton warehouse.’
‘We’ve also seen in the last 24 hours that other Premier League clubs have donated significant amounts to their associated foodbanks: Liverpool players and staff donated £40k for Monday’s cancelled game, and have pledged a further £10k for every future cancelled game. Man City also donated an unknown amount to the City Fans foodbank appeal.’
‘We hope that other clubs, and our own, can contribute similarly. We’ve had good support from the Club and others for our chocolate egg appeal for Newham kids at Easter. We just wanted to make an effort just for the kids at Easter time. The Club has donated 250 eggs, plus £200-worth from Expedient Security. We’ve also received pledges from LLDC, Newham Council, the Met Police and our newest support partner Spire London East Hospital.