Hitchin Town set up ‘bring a tin’ food donation facility as Canaries fan inspired by Everton FC foodbank after scheme highlighted on talkSport

PUBLISHED: 18:41 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:59 20 November 2018

Hitchin Town fans prior to the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Hitchin Town fans prior to the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

©2018 Archant

Memories of Hitchin Town’s FA Cup run might already be fading but the Canaries are proving their links to the community are as strong as ever – through their support of vital foodbanks.

Hitchin Town fans prior to the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHHitchin Town fans prior to the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

While Mark Burke’s battling braves captured the hearts of many football fans across the globe during their stirring run to the first round of the world’s oldest knockout competition, the admirable Top Field outfit are proving they have a social conscience too.

The Fishponds Road-based club, in association with the ever-growing North Herts FM radio station, are supporting Letchworth Foodbank run by the Trussell Trust – and will be running a food donation facility on matchdays to collect supplies for those in need of support in the run-up to Christmas.

The tie-up was the brainchild of Brian Gray, a passionate Canaries fan and football commentator on the acclaimed station, after learning on talkSport radio about a scheme run by Merseyside giants Everto.

Speaking to CometSport big-hearted Brian said: “It’s simple and easy to donate and it’s a good charity and community project to support.

Lewis Ferrell of Hitchin Town challenges for a header during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHLewis Ferrell of Hitchin Town challenges for a header during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

“I am thrilled Hitchin and North Herts FM will now run a similar project scheme to Everton where by supporters are encouraged to ‘bring a tin’ on match days to a foodbank located at the club so we could give to Letchworth foodbank.”

Between April 2017 and March 2018, Letchworth Foodbank distributed 33 tonnes of food to help feed 3,319 people including 1623 children.

The foodbank will be providing Christmas food parcels for families in crisis, and specifically require tinned ham, Christmas pudding, biscuits, chocolates, snacks and nibbles and Christmas crackers.

Hitchin executive comittee memeber Chris Newbold explained: “Through my own voluntary work with the Trussell Trust Foodbank at Bedford, I know how much difference these contributions make to both individuals and families from all walks of life, the large majority of whom have fallen on difficult times for a variety of reasons.

Noah Chesmain of Hitchin Town during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHNoah Chesmain of Hitchin Town during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

“Contributions will make a major difference to ensuring these folks have food at Christmas – particularly the children who we hope can have a better Christmas than they otherwise might have had.

“Hitchin Town FC is honoured and proud to be able to play their part in helping to make this difference.”

Fans can bring food donations on Saturday, at home to Coalville Town, Wednesday against Hemel Hempstead Town, Saturday, December 1 versus Barwell and again on Saturday, December 15 when Halesowen Town are the opposition.

Becky Phillips, North Herts FM station manager added: “Working with the community is what we are all about and when Hitchin asked us to be involved we were absolutely delighted.”

Alex Anderson of Hitchin Town during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHAlex Anderson of Hitchin Town during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Letchworth Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, started in October 2012 and has three distribution centres, Letchworth, Hitchin and Baldock. The centres are open twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to midday. They use a referral system where clients are referred to the foodbank by organisations who are best placed to access their needs such as housing associations, schools, medical practices, job centres and the Citizens Advice Bureau among other agencies.

Alternatively, food can be taken to any of the Letchworth Foodbank collection points. A full list of collection points and opening times can be found on their website www.letchworth.foodbank.org.uk/locations.

To contact Letchworth Foodbank call 07825 300437 or email info@letchworth.foodbank.org.uk.

A general view of Hitchin Town's Top Field ground during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHA general view of Hitchin Town's Top Field ground during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

For more see this week’s CometSport in the Comet newspaper.

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