I’ve worked closely with the West End Foodbank over the last few years as I know they provide a lifeline to many people and families across Newcastle North in their time of need. Opened in 2013 and headquartered in Benwell, the foodbank is now the busiest in the whole of the country – providing emergency food assistance to over 40,000 people in our city last year.
The incredible partnership recently developed between the foodbank and the Newcastle United Supporters Trust/NUFC Fans United has been amazing to see, with collections taking place outside St James’ Park at Newcastle’s last six home matches. And the generosity of NUFC fans has seen some 12 tonnes of food collected in that short space of time.
So, it was an honour yesterday to be able to join my colleague Chi Onwurah, NUFC fans, Michael Nixon from the foodbank and representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Newcastle United Foundation, the Church, and the Tyneside Irish Centre at the official opening of a further venture – a permanent city centre hub and collection point in the Grainger Market.
If I’m honest, I think it’s a national disgrace – in the sixth largest economy in the world – that so many families across our city, many of whom are in work, are struggling to put food on the table. But the work that the West End Foodbank – and the NUFC fan community – are doing to support them is absolutely invaluable. If you’d like to find out how you can support it too, please check out this page on their website: https://newcastlewestend.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/.