LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 6, 2010: A banner featuring the Liverpool supporters union Spirit of Shankly during the Premiership match at Anfield. The 213th Merseyside Derby. (Photo by: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Spirit of Shankly help kickstart initiative to feed up to “600 people per week”

On Thursday, May 20, Spirit of Shankly will join forces with Fans Supporting Foodbanks and the Greenhouse Project to launch a mobile food pantry in the Toxteth area of Liverpool.

The service will operate weekly on Thursdays between 10am and 12 noon, and will offer free food to those who desperately need it, with no judgement and no questions asked. And, the Supporters’ Union will fully fund the project.

Much is made of Liverpool’s sense of community spirit, solidarity and sense of justice. When one part of the community is suffering Scousers tend to rally in support and look after each other.

There is no greater example of that than the work of Fans Supporting Foodbanks, a group of Liverpool and Everton supporters whose work to end food poverty dates back many years and has rightly been celebrated. And now the Supporters’ Union has stepped in to provide even greater support.

The city of Liverpool has some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country, and the impact of austerity, cuts to council budgets and of course the Coronavirus pandemic have taken a heavy toll on some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

And so the food pantry will provide some much-needed relief. This is Anfield spoke to Joe Blott, chair of the Supporters’ Union to find out why he felt this was a project worthy of the union’s support.

“Spirit of Shankly, as the recognised supporters’ trust, has a primary purpose to strengthen the influence of supporters in the running of the LFC,” said Joe. “But we also aim to be actively involved in the wider community.

“The Food Pantry project is a natural extension of our work with Fans Supporting Foodbanks. Much of our work to date has been focused in and around Anfield, so this project in L8 will allow us to provide much-needed support in the south of the city.”

The pantry is a refrigerated truck that opens into a farmers market that will distribute food to those in need. People using the service will need to register on the day of their visit and pay just £3.50, for which they will receive £20 worth of food.

No questions will be asked and no judgement made, and the project promises easy access and an enjoyable shopping experience.

“Spirit of Shankly have committed to fully fund this project for at least the next three years,” Joe explained. “This will help over 150 families per week – approximately 450 to 600 individuals – put food on their table at an affordable price and in a dignified way.

“We are delighted the Union can play such a leading role in the Right to Food campaign”

The pantry will be located outside the Greenhouse Project in Tiber Square, Lodge Lane, Toxteth, L8 OTP every Thursday.

Watch this space for an exclusive interview with Joe Blott about the project and the union’s ongoing talks with Liverpool Football Club about supporter representation.