Doncaster Rovers Cup boost for hungry families

Martin O'Hara, Deputy Chair of football supporters federation (FSF), pictured with students from Club Doncaster sports and education foundation, Vaz Lindley, Alex Colliver, Oliver Bristow, Ricardo Kowo, Jack Beardshaw and Charlie Hellewell, who are also supporting the campaign. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Rovers Foodbank MC 3
Martin O'Hara, Deputy Chair of football supporters federation (FSF), pictured with students from Club Doncaster sports and education foundation, Vaz Lindley, Alex Colliver, Oliver Bristow, Ricardo Kowo, Jack Beardshaw and Charlie Hellewell, who are also supporting the campaign. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Rovers Foodbank MC 3

Doncaster Rovers were not the only winners when they knocked Scunthorpe out of the FA Cup this month.

The day also proved to be a big boost for our Free Press Foodbank campaign as fans turned out to help feed those who are struggling financially at present.

The Sunday afternoon match marked the first time fans had taken part in a collection for Doncaster Foodbank, with a collection point set up by supporters near the Belle Vue Bar and the club shop.

And generous fans dropped off 58.6kg of food on the day, which will be distributed among people who are referred to the Doncaster Foodbank by agencies including the borough's Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Martin O'Hara, Rovers season ticket holder and deputy chairman of the Football Supporters Federation, is among those running the collections at the Keepmoat stadium.

He was delighted with the support the collection saw from fans.

He said: "I thought the response was phenomenal. We collected a lot of food, and there was £50 in case donations too. I thought that was a great response.

"We are now looking at doing it before every home match. Most of those who were donating were asking if we would be doing it again."

Fans are set to run the next collection this weekend, before the club's match against Oldham on December 16.

Mr O'Hara is still appealing for more volunteers to help with the collection, and if there are enough, they may look to have a second collection point in addition to the one that is currently in place.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact him on 07825 632516.

We launched the Free Press Foodbank campaign to call on residents and businesses to help the borough’s foodbanks by making donations of food, or to offer premises as collection points.

The campaign was launched after concerns from foodbank chiefs and Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough, which issues food bank vouchers, over a major surge in demand while the new Universal Credit benefit is being rolled out across Doncaster.

Donations to Doncaster Foodbank can be dropped off at Tesco Extra at Woodfield Plantation, Woodfield Way, Balby, where there is a permanent collection point at the front of store. Mexborough has collection points at Mexborough Library and the Children’s Hub. Donated food can be delivered to Christ Church any Tuesday or Thursday between 9am and midday.

Food items which are most urgently needed include tinned fruit, long life fruit juice, tinned rice pudding, tinned meat, pasta sauce and rice. Doncaster Foodbank also takes toiletries, cleaning and sanitary products.