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From Beneficiary to Benefactor: Callum Wilson’s Journey with UK Food Banks

From Beneficiary to Benefactor: Callum Wilson’s Journey with UK Food Banks

Callum Wilson can probably be defined as the working-class hero in the Premier League after having to work extremely hard to get where he is now. The player who once played in League One and National League levels is primed to play in the UEFA Champions League with Newcastle United next season.

The 31-year-old has not had an easy road to get where he is. He’s been troubled by injury problems all through his career, with some of the injuries threatening to end his career itself. But the Englishman has fought through all his adversity to create a solid role in Eddie Howe’s team.

The England international comes from a very humble background and grew up with five siblings. He didn’t really come from an affluent family and his mother had to bring up their family after his Jamaican father left them when he was a child.  

Without a father figure and with so many mouths to feed, Wilson’s mother had to sometimes seek help from food banks in the UK to ensure that her children didn’t starve. The Englishman has not forgotten how the UK food bank system helped his family during their darkest hour and is extremely appreciative of the initiative that helps many underprivileged families survive.

The Newcastle striker recently decided to help out at a local food bank in Newcastle to give back to those in need. Wilson not just decided to fund the food items that are distributed in the food bank, but personally visit it to help the volunteers in setting up the food bags and distributing them.

During the distribution, Wilson also became nostalgic over some of the food items distributed by the banks and how they helped fulfil his appetite. He spoke about how the canned peach slices were a favourite item of his growing up as a child.

Wilson also praised how the items have become considerably better than what his family received in his childhood, like the rice pudding or how the food bags given away can help one maintain a diet by having stuff like soup and vegetables.

He also spoke about the impact of food banks in his life and why he’s so keen about working with them to help those in a situation he was in a few decades back.

He told Sky Sports: “Being someone when I was younger to experience food from the food bank makes it important to me to help out. It’s amazing that 10,000 in Newcastle alone use this specific food bank and 3 million people nationwide. It’s crazy to believe, it’s a shame, but it’s great what these guys do to people going through trouble.

“In my case, my mum worked extremely hard to help a family of six be as well as they can be. But sometimes, you need extra help and sometimes it can become demoralizing to get these. When it’s Easter time when they used to bring Easter Eggs for my siblings, them moments when as the oldest of the six, I wanted to make sure we got out of the environment and to provide for my own family – but also to get to a place to help out people in need or the next footballer that might need to receive food from the local community.”

Wilson is proud to be championing his charitable efforts towards the food bank system amid a period in the UK when more and more people are reliant on it. Over the last 12 months, over 3 million food packets have been distributed in the country amid a cost-of-living crisis.

The 31-year-old isn’t ashamed of having to seek help from the food banks as a child and through his efforts is trying to encourage more celebrities in the UK to volunteer in these facilities to help underprivileged families in providing the bare minimum in life.