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Unions and rival football fans join forces to fight food poverty

UNIONS and rival football fans joined forces in Glasgow today to support local foodbanks as the city faces unprecedented levels of poverty.

Research by polling company Survation across seven Glasgow electoral constituencies has revealed that more that 152,000 residents — almost a quarter of the population — are experiencing food poverty.

Union Unite is supporting national organisation Football Fans Supporting Foodbanks in which fans travelling to matches take food to deliver to foodbanks.

Fans from Liverpool brought food parcels to Glasgow and handed them over to fans from Glasgow Rangers, Celtic and other clubs ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League match against Rangers last night at Ibrox Stadium.

Unite said “fans for foodbanks” is part of the union’s “Unite for a Workers’ Economy” strategy in communities because politicians have failed to act.

General secretary Sharon Graham said: “There is one thing fans can agree on; hunger doesn’t wear club colours.

“But the levels of food poverty in our communities is disgraceful. Politicians should be ashamed for allowing hunger to grip our communities on this scale, so we are joining forces and taking matters into our own hands.

“This is an important initiative and it’s just the beginning. Unite intends to build power in our workplaces and simultaneously organise in our communities. 

“Unite will establish permanent bases on the ground in Glasgow to work with workers within their communities to deliver an economy that works for them.”

The food delivered last night by Liverpool fans travelled on their Spirit of Shankly coach named after the club’s famed manager Bill Shankly.

Today Scottish Fans Supporting Foodbanks is joining Unite members to deliver the food to three food pantries around Govanhill, Ruchazie and Castlemilk in Glasgow.

Unite for a Workers’ Economy campaign is driving the strategy to help bring change following the failure of politicians to act, the union said.

The union said: “This is more than mutual aid. It is the potential for agitation, mobilisation and for campaigns that organise communities — led by people for the people.”

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