Man Utd & Man City combine to donate £100,000 to support local food banks during coronavirus crisis

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Manchester United and Manchester City have donated a combined £100,000 to local food banks in a bid to support them through the coronavirus crisis.

The Covid-19 outbreak has called a halt to the 2019-20 season across all of Europe's major European leagues, including the English top-flight.

There have been 277,312 reported cases of the illness worldwide to date and 11,554 deaths, with government officials putting unprecedented measures in place to contain the spread.

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced the closure of all public schools this week, while also confirming that all restaurants, pubs, clubs and leisure centres are to close their doors with immediate effect.

For the time being, major food retailers remain open, but concerns have been raised over a potential shortage of supplies as people attempt to stockpile for the months ahead.

Manchester's two biggest clubs have now made a sizeable contribution to local food banks as they look to meet increased demand from vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.

United and City have each donated £50,000 to the Trussell Trust, an organisation which supports over 1,200 food banks across the country, including 19 in the Great Manchester vicinity.

“We are proud of the role our supporters play in helping local food banks and recognise the increased strain likely to be placed on these charities by the impact of coronavirus," the two Premier League giants said in a joint statement.

"At a time of challenge for our community, we are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United.”

City's Fans Foodbank Support expressed their gratitude after the announcement was made, while emphasising the importance of "community solidarity" during a difficult and uncertain period.

"We're delighted that City and United have donated such a huge amount to Fans Supporting Foodbanks," said a spokesman for MCFFS. 

"This will be an enormous help for the Greater Manchester community at a time when people need it most. We'd like to thank everyone on both sides for demonstrating that hunger doesn't wear club colours, and for the show of community solidarity."

Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) added on the donation: "MUST has been operating our Fans' Foodbank donation collection service on Manchester United home matchdays for some time but with the impact of coronavirus, we have been forced to switch to appealing for online cash donations only.

"The news that Manchester United and Manchester City have agreed to make such a large contribution is fantastic news and will make a huge difference supporting vulnerable people in communities across Manchester at this time."

Trussell Trust’s senior operations manager Rachel Macklin also offered her thanks to City and United, after highlighting the "pressure" being placed upon food banks as resources continue to be stretched to the limit. 

“As the coronavirus pandemic develops, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network," said Macklin. 

"This situation presents a huge additional pressure on already overstretched resources. We may start to see a reduction in food donations and volunteers may become unavailable if they are in the at-risk categories or are self-isolating.

“We’re working closely with our network to understand each food bank’s situation, offer guidance, and work out how we can best support them.

"We know we won’t be able to do this alone, so we are truly grateful for the support Manchester United and Manchester City are showing local food banks. On behalf of food banks in our network in Manchester, we thank you so much.”

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