Sam Allardyce brands UK’s reliance on foodbanks a ‘disgrace’

From The Guardian: Sam Allardyce has branded the growing number of foodbanks in Britain a national disgrace, after visiting one in his role as Everton FC manager this week.

Allardyce, together with his assistant Sammy Lee, donated food on behalf of the club to the North Liverpool foodbank on Thursday. Supporters of Everton and Liverpool have held regular collections for the facility, one of 428 operated within the Trussell Trust Network, having set up the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative. Three wards surrounding Goodison Park are among the poorest in Europe, with up to 42% of families living under the Living Wage Foundation’s poverty line.

After praising the patients, parents and staff at Alder Hey, he said: “It’s extremely depressing that a country of this magnitude, and where it thinks it lies in itself, can allow so many food banks to be operating in this country.

“But for the goodwill of the Liverpool people, and the fans have a big say in the food bank that we went to – to donate food for people less fortunate than ourselves, it is going back to the dark ages to allow that to continue. And it’s not only continuing, it is growing at a rapid pace where people who are in work, not just on benefits, can’t afford to live at a decent level and have to go to foodbanks to feed themselves and their children.

“I think it’s incredibly sad that a country like ours has allowed that to happen and will continue to allow that to happen. I think it’s a disgrace, apart from the people who work in them. They are out of this world, absolutely top-drawer.”

According to The Trussell Trust’s latest statistics, 586,907 three-day emergency food supplies were given out between 1 April and 30 September this year – a rise of 67,565 on the same period last year – with 208,956 going to children. The North Liverpool Foodbank helps more than 250 people each week.

[Read full article from Guardian sports section…]