Generous Peterborough shoppers and hospital and council staff donate thousands of foodbank meals

Thousands of meals have been donated to foodbanks by generous shoppers in Peterborough, as well as council and hospital staff.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 6:00 am

Staff from Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland hospitals came together to provide around 1,500 kilos of food.

As part of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust’s Christmas campaign, staff generously collected food items and basic necessities for individuals and families using foodbanks in Peterborough, Godmanchester and Stamford over the festive period

In total 25 bags of food were collected at Hinchingbrooke, 15 bags of food were collected at Stamford and more than 1,000 kilos of food were collected at Peterborough City Hospital.

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Fenland District Council staff pictured with the reverse advent calendar donation. From left: Michelle Bishop, Andy Brown, Lorraine Moore, Trevor Darnes, Amy Robinson, Andy Fox, Jo Evans, Justin Hanson, Michelle Page, Phil Westwood, Dawn Sadler, Lee Rider and Russell Watkins.
Fenland District Council staff pictured with the reverse advent calendar donation. From left: Michelle Bishop, Andy Brown, Lorraine Moore, Trevor Darnes, Amy Robinson, Andy Fox, Jo Evans, Justin Hanson, Michelle Page, Phil Westwood, Dawn Sadler, Lee Rider and Russell Watkins.

Trust chief executive Caroline Walker said: “Christmas is a time of giving, so this year we decided that our festive campaign should focus on giving back to our patients, visitors, staff and the local community. One of the ways we hoped to do this was by collecting for the foodbanks serving Peterborough, Huntingdon, Stamford and the surrounding areas.

“The response was fantastic with over 50 departments signing up to take part in the campaign. We encourage our staff to live our trust values and they truly did, working together to ensure that those using the foodbank this winter would have access to food and basic necessities such as toiletries as well as some festive treats. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who got involved and donated to the campaign - your help will make a big difference to families struggling this Christmas.”

Tesco shoppers in Peterborough donated 3,888 meals as part of the overall total of 2.5 million meals donated to charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare during last month’s Tesco Food Collection, with Tesco topping up the value of all the donations by an additional 20 per cent.

The donations to foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network are being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare go to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs who also receive surplus food from Tesco stores.

Tesco director Christine Heffernan said. “On my visits to stores during the collection I was taken aback by the generosity of our customers."

“I would like to thank all those who donated and we will be doing our bit by topping up all the donations by 20 per cent.”

Meanwhile, staff at Fenland District Council have helped provide more than 300 meals to those in need this Christmas after holding an alternative festive food appeal.

Staff at the council’s depot in Melbourne Avenue, March, rallied together for a reverse advent calendar campaign to support families struggling to make ends meet during the holidays.

Instead of receiving a small chocolate or treat for each day in December, staff donated an item of food every day for 24 days to a reverse advent box for Wisbech Foodbank.

Toiletries and toys were also donated to the appeal, which began in November to allow enough time for the items to be distributed before Christmas.

The team’s efforts resulted in a bumper donation of 127kg – the equivalent of 300 meals.

Andy Fox, senior environmental health protection officer at Fenland District Council, who organised the campaign, said: “No parent should ever have to worry about putting food on the table, no more so than at Christmas. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to do something a little different and help people who are less fortunate than others to have an enjoyable Christmas too.

“There was an amazing response from staff and we’re delighted with how much we collected. It will go a long way in helping the fantastic work Wisbech Foodbank does in our area.”

Andy said he was already thinking ahead to next year, and expanding the reverse advent calendar for all council teams to get involved in.