The Community Foundation of Bradford City FC, the charitable branch of Bradford City AFC, has joined forces with the football club and Penny Appeal, a charity providing assistance to at-risk individuals globally. The collaboration aims to offer free food to the most vulnerable residents in the Bradford community.
Ridwana Wallace-Laher, CEO of Penny Appeal and a trustee for the Community Foundation,
said: “We are very excited to be working closely with the Club and the Community Foundation in doing our bit for the community in Bradford. This is an opportunity to provide nourishment for vulnerable people, but tackle the issue of food waste management, which is something I know the Club and the Foundation care deeply about.”
The newly established scheme, employing a Penny Appeal food truck and the Foundation’s City Hub café, will offer food, warmth, and shelter during the winter. The food truck will be stationed in the Burlington Road car park, opposite the University of Bradford stadium, for one hour after BCAFC fixtures on match days. Surplus food from the Foundation’s City Hub, the café, and the events space, open before each BCAFC home game, will be contributed to the truck to minimize food waste and maintain sufficient supplies. The Hub will then remain open as a meeting and collection space for those using the truck, with the possibility of food parcels being available for collection.
Foundation CEO and ex-Bantams player, Ian Ormondroyd, said: “Here at the Foundation we are delighted to be working alongside Penny Appeal. The food truck will do crucial work in providing for the underprivileged, vulnerable and at-risk members of our community. Hopefully, by combining our efforts with the Club, Penny Appeal and our City Hub, we can make a real and lasting difference, which not only provides for Bradford’s community members, but allows us to reduce food waste too.”
The food truck will also operate every Thursday evening in the directors’ car park near the Morrison’s Family Stand of the stadium. Starting on January 11th, Penny Appeal’s food truck will be open from 6 pm until 6:45 pm, with the Hub remaining open to serve as a warm, safe space for those benefiting from the free food.
Ridwana added: “We are delighted that the City Hub will be opening its doors to coincide with the food truck’s offerings on Thursday evenings. Service users will be able to get a hot meal from the food truck and then have a warm and safe place to eat it.”
The Foundation is in the advanced stages of expanding its food provision initiative and collaborating with the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank. The Foundation plans to contribute funds and assemble food parcels covering all dietary needs, restrictions, and requirements, establishing a food bank at the Hub in conjunction with BCAFC Women’s team.
Bradleigh Pioli, the Foundation’s Head of Events and Commercial and one of the organisers of the recent food drive, said: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Penny Appeal and Bradford City Football Club in launching the food truck and food bank initiatives. Together, we aim to expand beyond our match day and Thursday offerings and look toward creating a warm, safe space within the City Hub for the community which runs every week, year-round. Our vision includes a multi-organisational team offering support and advice, ensuring that our service not
only nourishes bodies but also fosters a sense of community and assistance for those in need.”