Manchester United and Manchester City have joined forces to donate £100,000 to help food banks in Greater Manchester meet increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each club will donate £50,000 to the Trussell Trust, which supports a network of over 1,200 food bank centres, including 19 in the Greater Manchester area.
The donations will help local food banks increase capacity and compensate for the temporary loss of food donations on matchdays through the MUFC Fans Foodbank Support and MUFC Fans Foodbank.
The groups usually collect supplies outside Old Trafford and the Etihad before home games, but this has been interrupted by the suspension of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A joint statement, issued by both clubs, said: “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.
“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.”
A spokesperson from the MCFC Fans Foodbank Support said: “We’re delighted that City and United have donated such a huge amount to Fans Supporting Food banks.
“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.”
A spokesperson for the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said : “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 Premier League are again investigating playing games behind closed doors amid the COVID-19 crisis, in order to complete the season.
It is hoped that could even happen as early as May, when the latest postponement set by Thursday’s meeting is set to end.