Food insecurity is a huge issue across the UK and with the rising cost of living, it is an issue that is only going to get worse. The charity, Football for Foodbanks, founded in Sheffield in 2020, has found a way that individuals can make a difference through playing football.
Every time someone plays a game, the portion of the £4 match fee that doesn’t cover the facility hire is donated towards filling cupboards in the local community with a big end of month food shop for the local foodbank.
Football for Foodbanks started in Milton Keynes in September 2021 and has gone from strength to strength, having already donated over £1,000 worth of food to the Milton Keynes foodbank. They are also continually exploring ways to engage with communities to make them feel welcomed through football.
On Saturday 2nd April, they are hosting a Refugee Football Event at The Radcliffe School in Milton Keynes, which will be free for the attending refugees. The event is taking place from 10 am to 1 pm and they would love to have some supporters. They also hosted an event for Football vs. Homophobia and are constantly exploring ways to increase their inclusivity and create footballing opportunities for the community around them.
The Head of the Milton Keynes Division, George Ridgeway, said; “We offer everyone in society an opportunity to play football, have a laugh and make friends.
“The positive culture that is created by playing football to defeat food poverty is both addictive and uplifting. I like to think we have created a safe environment for people to enjoy football and that is a testament to everyone who plays for us. It’s so great to hear encouragement on and off the pitch, no matter which team people are on.”
Games are posted weekly on their Facebook page and players of all abilities are welcome. Their main goals for the next few months are to open their weekly football offer to include women and gender minorities as well as expand their reach across Milton Keynes and look to host some in the south of the city.
Berks & Bucks FA, Community & Inclusion Officer, Emma O’Hara, said; “As a County FA we are striving to ensure football is really a game for all and I’ve really been inspired by the work that George and Football for Foodbanks are doing in Milton Keynes.
“It’s such a simple and effective concept for not only providing playing opportunities but for also giving back to their community. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for them and I’m looking forward to supporting them along their journey.”
For more information, please join the Football for Foodbanks Facebook page to find out more about how you can get involved by following the below link, they would love to hear from players or potential venues that would like to work with them.
Get in touch with Football for Foodbanks
Alternatively, for more information about Football for Foodbanks, footballing opportunities for refugees or other marginalised communities, please contact Berks & Berks FA Community & Inclusion Officer, Emma O’Hara, via the Development@Berks-BucksFA.com