A food bank which collected vital donations at Lincoln City matches has had to rely on supermarkets to fill the gap during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sincil Foodbank says the need for food banks in Lincoln has increased by eight tonnes a month because of COVID, but that fans not being allowed at football games has affected donations.
Craig Rouse, 38, the founder of The Sincil Foodbank, said it was “disappointing”.
“The amount of food I was getting from one match would be enough to cover about a month of what I get from the supermarkets.
“It is a bit of a shame, especially because of the increase in uptake from the foodbanks”, Mr Rouse said.
“We were getting 300-400kg of food from a home game, which is a huge amount- that’s ten families fed for a month.
“It would have been very useful if we had that revenue stream,” he added.
Mr Rouse said he is talking to the club about returning to the Fan Zone when fans are back at LNER Stadium.
He added that a Lincoln City supporters’ group, the 617 Squadron, has donated £100 this week. The group is also selling face masks and donating any profits made to the food bank.
Lincoln has several food banks, including the Trussell Trust Food Bank and the Lincoln Community Larder.
Mr Rouse said the demand from these food banks has risen from 3.5 tonnes a month, to 10-11 tonnes a month.
The food bank founder has responded to this by signing deals with local supermarkets, who donate food every three to four days.
Mr Rouse said: “I work with other food banks like The Trussell Trust and they’ve signed deals with Morrisons, but I’ve sort of branched off myself and signed a contract with Marks and Spencer, Lidl and Aldi.
“On Sunday I got probably another 120kg from Lidl and then maybe another 40kg from Marks and Spencer.
“So, with other donations I’ve got around 300kg in the last ten days.
“I got an email from Lidl saying they were going to start matching donations to the foodbank, and I’ve definitely seen an increase over the last week or so since Marcus Rashford’s (free school meals) campaign.”
The Sincil Foodbank is now expanding to Sleaford thanks to a collection offer from a volunteer.
Mr Rouse says Neighbourly, a national group which helps businesses support local causes, has helped him get in contact with supermarkets, including Aldi and Lidl.
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