In December 2017 Olleco teamed up with Trussell Trust whose mission is to help transform the prospects of people who are living in hardship. The Trussell Trust’s 430-strong network of foodbanks provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. In 2016/17, they gave 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, of which 437,000 went to children.
1.3 million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day. Facing Christmas with little or no money and struggling to make ends meet can be a reality for many. Unable to afford food to make a decent hot meal, let alone presents, is a very daunting time for too many.
Volunteers from Olleco’s Northampton, Liverpool and Thetford sites helped out at one of their local foodbanks throughout December. In 2016/2017, over 11,000 tonnes of food was donated to the foodbanks and Support Office volunteers, Kate Mortimer, Kirstie Dummer and Rachael Vincent, helped date and sort some food adding to the 35,000 volunteers who volunteer for Trussell Trust annually.
The Liverpool team, made up of Dominic Cassidy, David Hastie, Katie Lockett, Hayley Griffiths, Aimee Carney, Ashley Parkinson, Kelly Trown and Jacqueline Mosenthal-Redman, took it in shifts to help make Christmas baskets.
Dominic Cassidy, Liverpool General Manager, said “we all had a great day there; it was a very humbling experience for us all”.
To build resilience and help prevent people needing referral to a foodbank again, many of the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks offer free additional support services, such as debt advice and budget cookery courses as part of the charity’s ‘More Than Food’ approach. Michael Short, Food Waste Transport Manager, helped meet and greet the clients and give them a free meal in the café.
Debbie Renton, Thetford Sales Manager, said “it was a good morning, the team there do a great job and I have put my name forward to volunteer again on a more regular basis as and when needed”.
Foodbanks are a vital lifeline. Here are some stories from people that use the Trussell Trust network: