Sunderland AFC to help homeless with Christmas food donation to charity and church

Martin Bain
Martin Bain

Sunderland AFC and its catering partner are to help out the homeless this Christmas by donating food.

The club along with company Elior will hand over food from Saturday’s match against Birmingham City at the Stadium of Light to assist those in need.

Father Marc Lyden-Smith outside of St Marys Church, Bridge Street, Sunderland with the Christmas Lunch poster. Picture by FRANK REID

Father Marc Lyden-Smith outside of St Marys Church, Bridge Street, Sunderland with the Christmas Lunch poster. Picture by FRANK REID

Both organisations have purchased and prepared additional portions of match day hospitality food to help the Salvation Army and St Mary’s Church in Sunderland city centre cater for those using their services over the Christmas period.

The food will be delivered by Black Cats staff on Saturday and includes 50 plates of hot food for the Salvation Army to be given to guests that evening, and 150 plates of prepared vegetables ahead of Christmas Day lunch at St Mary’s.

Earlier this week, SAFC concluded its Bring a Tin campaign which saw players at all levels of the club, staff and supporters donate non-perishable items to Centre Point and St. Mary’s Church.

Club bosses say the campaign received a “fantastic” response, with over 30 wheelie bins of food and clothing collected for the good causes.

Sunderland AFC chief executive Martin Bain said: “A huge thanks to our fans, players, staff and partners for supporting this important work.

“The response has been fantastic.

“Christmas is a time for giving and helping others and this year we are doing what we can to help those in need in our community.

“By donating food from our match day hospitality and through our Bring a Tin campaign, we can make a difference to someone’s life this festive season.”

SAFC Chaplain and priest at St Mary’s Church Sunderland Father Marc Lynden-Smith said: “Every year lots of people in need from across Sunderland gather together in St Mary’s Church on Christmas Day for a free lunch and company.

“Not only is there a terrific sense of community, but also a real sense of Christmas.

“I’m delighted that Sunderland AFC has gotten involved this year.

“The club is the heartbeat of this city.

“This year they have brought life, energy and compassion to our Christmas Day lunch, and to those staying with the Salvation Army over this Christmas.

“I can’t thank the SAFC players, staff and fans enough for their support of those in need this Christmas.”