Nottingham Forest launch food bank appeal and ask fans to donate at next match
A donation collection point will be set up before Forest's clash with Swansea City at the City Ground on Saturday
28 March 2019
Forest fans are being urged to bring food donations to Saturday's clash with Swansea after the club announced a partnership with charity Hope Nottingham.
Star players Ben Osborn and Ryan Yates were at the launch of the club's partnership at the City Ground and appealed for Reds fans to help make a difference to those who need it most.
The charity has been operating for nine years and works in 15 food banks across the city and county.
Around 12,000 food parcels were given out by Hope in 2018, and director Nigel Adams said demand is rising on a yearly basis in their food banks.
They also help people with advice on dealing with problems including debt, housing, benefits, mental health, loneliness and unemployment, working with local authorities and social services.
Director Nigel Adams added: "It's really exciting to launch this partnership, we're slightly daunted by the amount of food we might get, but in a really positive way, it'll go a very good use.
"It's really encouraging to be given the opportunity by the club owner Mr Marinakis to develop this.
"This is a story that will go beyond Nottingham and it sets an example for other cities to follow.
"It feels like a break through for us because it's not just amount the sheer quantity of food that it's likely to bring but it's about that level of support from the club that gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of the issues and how people get into these situations.
"When people finally come to us for a food parcel they've got to a point where they can't even put food on the table.
"It doesn't get much more difficult than that. Our job is to not just give them food but to help them with how they got into that trouble.
“Food donation collections at Nottingham Forest are a major breakthrough in our battle to overcome poverty across Nottingham."
A donation collection point will be set up before Forest's clash with Swansea City at the City Ground on Saturday (March 30).
Fans are being asked to donate non-perishable tinned foods and toiletries which will go families and people who struggle with the day-to-day cost of living.
Forest's Ben Osborn told Nottinghamshire Live: "Nottingham Forest has a big pull in the city. The amount of people that come down here on a Saturday will be great to helping people who have to use food banks.
"There's always been things going on in the community but the last couple of years the club has really kicked on and hopefully it is making a lot of difference to people and getting a lot more coverage.
"[On people needing to use food banks] It's a problem in the city and in a lot of cities over the country. Forest are doing their bit to try and help people who need it.
"As players we've certainly noticed through trying to get the word out making appearances that it's good and will help.
"It's not going too far out your way to bring a bit of food down that could potentially help a family or someone who is really struggling, do what you can and it will go a long way."
The charity was introduced to the club by the Nottingham Forest Supporters' Trust.
Trust Secretary Andy Caddell said the launch of the partnership will "help change the profile" of Nottingham, given the club's pull to a worldwide audience.
He added: “We have been delighted at how the club has wholeheartedly embraced the idea of matchday collections for Hope Nottingham.
"With close to 30,000 fans turning up at each home match at the City Ground, we really hope and expect that this initiative could make a major contribution.
"The active involvement of Nottingham Forest in supporting efforts to help people in our city struggling to cope with their lives is another reason for us all to be proud to support this special club.”
Located in the Family Reds Zone on Saturday, the club and the charity are urging supporters to donate food, drinks and toiletries before the game.
The collection will be available from 11am to 2pm in the Brian Clough car park.
There will be no vehicle access, so supporters are advised to make their donations by foot.