Comedian Jason Manford calls on government to deal with food poverty after making single for charity

  • A video report by Granada Reports Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore

Comedian Jason Manford says "the people in charge need to sort this out" after creating a charity single to help feed people this Christmas.

All the money raised from the entertainer's 'Assembly Bangers' will go to the Trussell Trust's Emergency Appeal.

The entertainer, who is playing Captain Hook in Manchester Opera House's Peter Pan panto, said: "I was looking around at charities that might need a little bit of help and the Trussell Trust came to mind.

"With the cost of living crisis and everything that is going on it seemed to marry up really.

"It feels very odd to be a comic raising money for charity. This is not my job, I shouldn't be here."

From April to September this year Trussell Trust have given out 150,000 food parcels in the North West. Credit: ITV News

From April to September 2022, Trussell Trust foodbanks have given out 1.3 million emergency food parcels to people facing hardship, with 150,000 of them being distributed to households across the North West - a rise of 4% across the network from 2021.

Manford said he "didn't realise" he came from an underprivileged background growing up.

"We did live below the poverty line," he said. "There wasn't a Trussell Trust then. We relied on the local church."

The comedian said the idea to create the single came when he tried to help his children with their homework and thought to himself: "I don't know any photosynthesis, Romans, all gone. Every word to every assembly song, still there."

Manchester South Central foodbank. Credit: ITV News

The album features eight school assembly classics including He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, When I Needed a Neighbour and Lord of The Dance.

There is also a Christmas assembly megamix.

"In a weird way, the single is from that time in my life when I was eight or nine.

"I went to school up the road in Whalley Range, St Margaret's. I drove past my school Loretto in Hulme as I came to South Manchester Foodbank."

More than 320,000 people have been forced to use a Trussell Trust foodbank this winter and are giving out more food than is being donated.

  • Information from the Trussell Trust on how to help if you are in a position to do so

Trussell Trust Manchester South Central Foodbank manager Heidi Exell said: "The first thing you should do is go on the Trussell Trust website, put your postcode in and it will bring up all the local foodbank in your area.

"If you support your local foodbank you know that you are directly helping your local community."

Jason Mansford grew up in Salford and attended school in Manchester. Credit: ITV News

Manford said: "There is a cost of living crisis but not for everybody.

"I'm not suffering, people on my road are not suffering and Centre Parks was fully booked in October and that's not a cheap week.

"Some people have got money and it is their money that we want.

"I would ask you to donate if I hadn't donated myself.

"The people in charge need to sort this out. I would be absolutely mortified if I was a politician and there were people in my constituency not being able to feed themselves.

Manford hopes his single will climb to the top of the charts and raise as much money as possible for people in need this Christmas.

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