Founded in October 2015 Fans Supporting Foodbanks was a joint initiative between Spirit of Shankly and Everton’s Blue Union.
SOS committee member Ian Byrne alongside Dave Kelly from Everton’s Blue Union led the grassroots initiative to fight food poverty.
Following a plea for donations for local foodbanks at a recent derby, both supporters’ groups have linked up with North Liverpool Foodbank and ABCC (Anfield Breckside Community Council) to organise weekly collections at every home game at Anfield and Goodison.
What started with three fans collecting tins of food in a wheelie bin outside the pub on match days now supplies 25% of all donations to North Liverpool Foodbanks and has become a grassroots organisation that stretches from Glasgow to London to Dublin.
Fighting poverty, promoting inclusivity
But we do more than just collect food. We educate people on the root causes of poverty and work to promote unity, equality and justice in our communities. It’s not about charity but solidarity.
We have extended our reach too, campaigning with period poverty campaigners to get free sanitary products placed into Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs.
We’re extremely proud of the strong relationships we’ve built with the Muslim community in Liverpool – with mosques collecting food and holding events to break down barriers between our communities.
These links have been invaluable in combating the threat of the far-right. When working-class communities come together to tackle their shared problems, it closes the space in which the far-right can organise, and their rhetoric can take hold.
We’ve united people of different backgrounds, different faiths, even people who wear different colours at the game.