Newcastle fan food bank calls for more donations amid World Cup football break

Lisa Doherty from NUFC Fans Food Bank said the winter World Cup has meant fewer matches in Newcastle for volunteers to pick up donations. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A food bank which usually collects donations at home football matches in Newcastle is asking for extra help during the break for the World Cup.

NUFC Fans Food Bank collects cash and food outside of St James' Park, but due to the international football break, there are fewer opportunities to pick up donations.

It comes as demand for the service has increased, with volunteers regularly handing out 2,000 food parcels every month, up from an average of 1,600.

Lisa Doherty, a volunteer at the food bank, said: "If anyone's got anything spare - and we realise it's very tight for the majority of people at the minute - that could help people have a little bit of dignity and joy this Christmas, then we'd be really grateful for it."

Ms Doherty said volunteers were "initially quite panicked" about the tournament being held in the winter as it meant Premier League football fixtures are not being held.

Usually the World Cup is held in the summer months of June and July, but due to the heat in this year's host country Qatar, it was agreed to move the tournament.

The food bank will be holding collections at a Newcastle United Ladies match as well as Carabao Cup and friendly games, which will "make a massive difference" to donations, Ms Doherty said.

However, volunteers are still expect to raise less than usual in November and December due to a different fan base attending.

Ms Doherty said: "It's a different audience going to the games.

"We're also going to get a lot of families with children who maybe aren't bringing spare cash, or people who don't regularly go to the match and don't know that the food bank collects outside all of the home games."

NUFC Fans Food Bank usually raises around £3,500 on a normal match day and are hoping to raise awareness of their collections this winter.

They are asking for a range of items to be donated, including:

  • Christmas selection boxes for children

  • Sanitary products

  • Pasta, pasta sauce, and tea bags

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...