Walsall football fans dig deep for food bank in push to feed a family

Football fans have generously answered a call for food donations to help people struggling to make ends meet this winter.

Chairman of the supporters trust, Trevor Reece, at Walsall FC with some of the donated food for the food bank
Chairman of the supporters trust, Trevor Reece, at Walsall FC with some of the donated food for the food bank

Walsall Football Club Supporters’ Trust organised a collection outside the Bescot Stadium ahead of the club’s match against Colchester United.

Secretary Ray Dale said there was an “excellent” response to the appeal, held in support of the Express & Star’s Feed a Family This Christmas campaign.

The donations will help stock the shelves of Walsall North food bank and the Thomas Project in Aldridge, which runs a food bank as part of the Black Country Food Bank network.

“We had a really good response from supporters. My car was absolutely full with donations,” said Mr Dale. As well as dozens of essential items such as fruit cordial, tinned soup, supporters also handed over cash donations in aid of the cause.

Mr Dale said: “I have purchased five Co-op gift cards at £10 each following cash donations from supporters on the day. These will also be passed on for use by the food banks.”

Walsall Football Supporters’ Trust also held a toy collection for Walsall Manor Hospital ahead of the match last Saturday.

This year, the Express & Star is encouraging those who can afford to do so to consider donating food and toiletries to food banks and other charities helping people in need in our communities.

The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt with the end of both furlough and the Universal Credit uplift - and now rising energy bills are putting more people under additional financial strain.

Food banks across the region are working hard to meet a growing demand for support.

Charities are appealing for donations of seasonal treats, as well as basics including canned meat and vegetables, long-life milk, fruit juice, coffee, breakfast cereals and rice.

For the full list of items charities regularly need see expressandstar.com/news/feed-a-family.

What to donate

Any Christmas items need to have ‘best before’ dates beyond December.

Some food banks will not accept festive items after a certain date to ensure it can all be distributed in time for Christmas.

The food must not contain any alcohol (bear in mind for mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and chocolates including selection boxes).

Cupboard essentials

  • Breakfast cereal (preferably non-sugared)

  • Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)

  • Jam, marmalade

  • Fruit juice (long-life)

  • Small jars of coffee

  • Hot chocolate

  • Tinned meat (ham, corned beef, Spam)

  • Tinned ready meals (chilli, meatballs, stew)

  • Tinned vegetarian ready meals (curry, ratatouille, macaroni cheese)

  • Packets of mashed potato/tinned potatoes

  • Tinned vegetables

  • Tinned fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Pasta sauce/cooking sauces

  • Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)

  • Tinned rice pudding/custard

  • Healthy snacks (small boxes of raisins/apricots)

  • Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads

Toiletries

  • Deodorants

  • Shampoo

  • Shower Gel

  • Soap

  • Toothbrushes

  • Toothpaste

  • Sanitary towels

Where to donate

Black Country Foodbank

The Storehouse, Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Telephone: 01384 671250. Website: blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk. Deadline for Christmas food is December 3.

The Well

Unit 16, Wulfrun Trading Estate, Stafford Road, Wolverhampton WV10 6HH. Open Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 1pm. Please call 01902 256523 before you deliver. Sainsbury’s in Wombourne, Perton and Wednesfield have donation points as well as Asda in Wolverhampton. Website: thewellwolverhampton.co.uk.

Good Shepherd Ministry, Wolverhampton

Food and toiletries can be donated at Sainsbury’s in Chapel Ash. If you have a large number of items to donate, call 01902 399955 to arrange delivery or collection. Website: gsmwolverhampton.org.uk.

Harvest Community Food Bank

New Testament Church of God, New Trust Centre, 1 Wolverhampton Road (on the corner of Woden Road & Wolverhampton Road), Heath Town, Wolverhampton, WV10 0PD. Open Fridays between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Referral is not necessary but proof of address is required. Telephone: 01902 453190. Email: info@ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk. Website: ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk.

Excel Church Food Bank

Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, WV14 0LT. 01902 402273. Open Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5pm. excelchurch.org.uk/foodparcel.

Cannock and District Food Bank

Coniston Hall, Cecil Street, Chadsmoor, WS11 5HD. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm. Telephone: 01543 422394. Website: cannockdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.

Rugeley Food Bank

Rugeley Community Centre, Burnthill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HX. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Tesco also have a collection point, as do most Rugeley churches. Telephone: 07528 447504. Website: rugeley.foodbank.org.uk.

Walsall North Food Bank

Pelsall Methodist Church, Chapel Street. Open Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, and Fridays 1pm to 3pm. Telephone: 07582 869895. Website: walsallnorth.foodbank.org.uk.

Bloxwich and Blakenall Food Bank

Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LZ. Open Thursdays 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07747 301374. Website: bloxwichblakenall.foodbank.org.uk.

Great Barr Food Bank

St Bernard’s Church, Broome Avenue Great Barr B43 5AL. Open Fridays 12pm to 3pm. Telephone: 0121 3575399. Website: greatbarr.foodbank.org.uk.

Smethwick Food Bank

Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick, B67 7AH. Tuesdays and Fridays, 12pm to 2pm. Telephone: 0121 5170141. Website: smethwick.foodbank.org.uk.

Quinton and Oldbury Food Bank

St Boniface Church, Quinton Road West, Quinton, B32 2QD. Open Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07732 157619. Website: quintonoldbury.foodbank.org.uk.

Kidderminster Food Bank, based at the Swan Centre

Food can be donated at Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys in Kidderminster, Tesco and Co-op in Stourport. Website: kidderminster.foodbank.org.uk.

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