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Former Town players visit Ipswich foodbank for Rashford campaign

PUBLISHED: 18:09 04 November 2020 | UPDATED: 21:13 04 November 2020

Former Ipswich Town stars Darren Ambrose and Matt Holland volunteer at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Former Ipswich Town stars Darren Ambrose and Matt Holland volunteer at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

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Two former Town players Matt Holland and Darren Ambrose visited an Ipswich foodbank today as part of a campaign to end child food poverty led by footballer Marcus Rashford.

Former Ipswich Town star Matt Holland volunteers at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Former Ipswich Town star Matt Holland volunteers at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

The former roommates took part in a day of national coverage by radio station talkSPORT for FareShare UK, which runs foodbanks across the country.

The Manchester United and England star’s recent campaigning inspired many Suffolk restaurants, pubs and shops to hand out free school meals over half term when MPs voted against it.

He is now working as an ambassador for FareShare which runs an East Anglia branch in Leslie Road, Ipswich.

Holland, the central midfielder who captained Town, and Ambrose, who was brought up through the academy, helped pack boxes at the foodbank to highlight the need for extra volunteers through lockdown.

Former Ipswich Town star Darren Ambrose volunteers at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Former Ipswich Town star Darren Ambrose volunteers at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Mr Holland said: “It’s been eye opening to be honest.

“It’s actually really surprised me how many people are struggling, how many people are in what’s called extreme poverty and how much food is needed to help them.

“East Anglia struck me as being a reasonably affluent area, somewhere this shouldn’t really be happening.”

The branch used to distribute five tonnes of food a week – that went up to 50 tonnes during lockdown.

From left to right, former Ipswich Town stars Matt Holland and Darren Ambrose with Sue Stenson, volunteer manager, at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.From left to right, former Ipswich Town stars Matt Holland and Darren Ambrose with Sue Stenson, volunteer manager, at FareShare Ipswich as part of talkSPORT's takeover day. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Mr Ambrose, a father of four, said: “It’s been a very humbling experience for myself.

“Since the Marcus Rashford campaign kicked off we’ve been really wanting to try and do our bit.

“It’s been quite sad actually seeing how much food is needed to feed the families of the UK.”

Since the start of March an estimated total of 2.2 million meals have come out of the Ipswich depot.

File photo dated 07/11/19 of footballer Marcus Rashford. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA ImagesFile photo dated 07/11/19 of footballer Marcus Rashford. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Mr Ambrose pointed out it’s enough to feed the entirety of Portman Road Stadium 76 times over.

He added: “We’re going into another lockdown, which is frightening for a lot of families.

“I have four young children and I would never want to see them struggle. I have seen their friends and it would never cross your mind that they might be going hungry in the summer holidays or over Christmas.

“It’s been brought more into the public eye with the Marcus Rashford campaign but, in my opinion, it shouldn’t have taken a 22-year-old professional footballer to come out and bring this attention to it.”


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