During the last week of the season, Palace players Joel Ward, Connor Wickham and several squad members from the Academy U18 and U23 teams volunteered at a Foodbank near Selhurst Park.
They were there to lend a hand to the project which is having to expand to cater for the rising number of people in South London who cannot afford to buy food.
Nearly thirty Crystal Palace players and staff helped lend some much-needed manpower to support the project’s expansion into a larger space within their church base. The players spent more than an hour organising food donations into use-by date order to help efficient distribution, before moving supplies into the main body of the church.
Joel Ward said: “You don’t have to go too far to find poverty. We all know there are some extreme cases around the world, but there are also extreme cases on our doorstep that we can help or prevent.”
U23 goal-keeper Dion Henry added poignantly: “There are people that struggle every day for food, and there are people like us who can go to the fridge and get what you want. This is an eye-opener for everyone I think. You see at home all the food you throw in the bin that will go to waste – if you just drop it off somewhere like here, or supermarkets do box collections – the amount of people you’d be helping out is ridiculous.”
WATCH: Ward, Wickham & Academy players volunteer at local Foodbank
Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, one of the largest, is an independent charity formed by Elizabeth Maytom.
Maytom said: “In our foodbank alone, we’ve fed 10,000 people in the last year. We are moving into a bigger space to serve our community and also other neighbouring foodbanks in the area who don’t have the space that we’ve got.
“We rely solely on donations and volunteers to keep the centre running; there is no government nor council funding for such projects.”
How can you help?
Donate any of the following items which are in short supply to the Norwood & Brixton Foodbank, by dropping off at St Margaret’s Church, Barcombe Ave, SW2 3BH:
- UHT Milk all sizes and types
- UHT Fruit Juice
- Tinned meat like corned beef, pies, curry
- Small bags rice/ cous cous
- Tinned custard
- Tinned rice pudding
- Toilet rolls
- Shower Gel
- Washing Powder
Want to volunteer or donate money? Please visit norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk
According to the Trussell Trust, more than 14 million people are living in poverty in the UK – including 4.5 million children. There are more than 1,800 Foodbank centres in the UK which provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food – free of charge – to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face.
In the last year 1.6 million food supplies were delivered to people in crisis, up 19% from last year, and a 73% increase in the last five years.