Over Christmas 2022, the Lincolnshire Food Redistribution Hub had a presentation event celebrating the almost £9,000 raised by businesses and organisations in the local community, including Sternfenster’s retail business Starglaze and Lincoln City Fans’ Player Scheme. The Lincoln Food Bank received the money and gift cards from this event during the festive season.
Over £9,000 has been raised and donated for those less fortunate in our community throughout the holiday season through a Christmas food bank initiative started by Lincoln City supporters and supported by various local companies.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial hardship across the nation, Paul Dixon and Andrew Helgesen from the Lincoln City Fans Player Scheme, which raises awareness and money for Imps fans as well as the local community, had a vision of aiding the Lincoln Food Bank.
In order to see how many donations they could collect, the two contacted neighbourhood businesses and the general public. They ultimately raised £3,000 in the first year and £4,600 in 2021.
More than 50 neighbourhood companies, including pubs, restaurants, shops, real estate agents, venues, and more, donated to the cause in 2022.
Important supplies for the Lincoln Food Bank were sent directly to families in need this Christmas.
A number of small businesses in Lincolnshire supported the initiative, and Sternfenster’s retail sister company Starglaze donated £1,000 to the cause.
Starglaze joined forces with The Lincolnite and sent cartons and sacks of food to the Lincoln Food Bank.
Along with dozens of local independents banding together to give some much-needed holiday happiness, trade unions like the GMB Union and Unite have donated money to the project.
Paul and Andy had set a donation goal of £5,000 for this year, but they well exceeded it, raising £8,500 in total. This amount was increased by 10% thanks to Lincolnshire Co-op, coming to a total of £9,350.
Paul Dixon spoke about the project’s inspirations and what he hoped to accomplish by uniting football fans and compassionate locals.
Masses of donations were made, both in the form of money and food items. Photo: The Lincolnite
“We represent the fans of the club and do this through the will of the fans, first of all we raise money for the football club but this time of year it became about raising money for Lincoln Food Bank.
“It’s been amazing seeing the responses to the Fans Players Scheme, we don’t judge regardless of how much is donated – we just want everyone to be a part of it as much as possible.
“The main thing is that it all comes together and we make a difference. Next year is going to be even worse for people with bills rising.
“Working class families are struggling and for me there is nothing worse than that, there’s people in uniforms who go to work daily and have no money left to pay for food. Everyone is doing an amazing job and I just hope this makes a difference.”
All of the funds raised through this campaign will be converted into Lincolnshire Co-op vouchers that can be redeemed at food bank drop-off locations and distributed to the most in needy individuals.
Collette Hyatt, retail manager at Starglaze, said:
“Paul and Andy approached us and asked us if we’d be interested in giving a donation. After speaking to the managing director, we decided to donate an additional £100 for every £500 raised – which has been rounded up to £1,000.
“All 240 employees in the showroom and head office came together to collect food for the food bank, we’ve managed to get hundreds of pounds of food alongside the help of The Lincolnite who also got on board. A huge thank you to everyone who got involved, hopefully it can make a few people’s Christmas a bit brighter this year.”
It is the third year of the Lincoln City Fans’ Players Scheme, with an ambitious £10,000 target set for next year. Photo: The Lincolnite
Sam Turner, the community engagement manager at Lincolnshire Co-op, added:
“I think that the need for food banks has grown recently, which is terribly sad to see, but also the generosity of the people has grown with that.
“I think people like to support each other and be a part of a community effort, and the Lincoln City Fans’ Player Scheme has really enabled that to be possible.
“It’s such a great cause and the more we can all do to help at the moment, the better.”
Food contributions will be accepted in the New Year at the Starglaze Showroom on Tritton Road if you are able to contribute.
This will kindly ensure that the Lincoln Food Bank receives any thoughtful contributions; if you believe that you can contribute, please get in touch with Collette.
*As first reported in the Lincolnite.
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