Donating Food to Our Local Food Bank 4

Donating Food to Our Local Food Bank

19 February 2020

“We want to do something for our local community.” Explained Dan Daintry during a meeting “…all charities are important, but what is affecting our local community” he continued as he briefed me. Dan has been a director of PAL Hire Ltd for 12 years and seen the ebb and flow of life that business brings.

One thing that has always remained true is the way the company is poised to look after its staff. There are countless stories of where Dan and his co-director Sam Snelson have really gone the extra mile for their team. That is normal for most companies isn’t it? There is a feeling of well being generally with PAL Hire and the staff team. A common goal and a true desire to look after our customer base and each other. After all it is standard that if you look after your team and customers, they stick around. This is a common feeling shared across the company and we’d like to reach out to our local community.

We want to do more

But there has always been a niggling to do more for our immediate community. Recent press coverage and the economic climate encouraged the PAL Hire Ltd team to research more. We soon discovered some disturbing National Statistics that when we investigated Stockport, our home town, reflected the national trend.

More Food banks than McDonald’s

There are more food banks in the UK than McDonald’s Restaurant’s, ratified by https://fullfact.org/electionlive/2019/dec/9/food-banks-more-mcdonalds/ and based on information from both the McDonald’s website and the House of Commons Library. Go figure that, there are more food banks, meaning there is a huge need to for food across our communities. This disturbed the team at PAL Hire and this acted like a call to action.

Child Poverty in Stockport

Let’s cut to the chase, we investigated more and discovered that there are too many children living in poverty in our local community around Stockport and Hazel Grove. The national press and charities also have found that some of the people who use food banks work, but they just can not make ends meet, the family suffers. Our research revealed that 13% of children in Stockport (our home town), live in poverty.

What did we want to do?

It was agreed that PAL Hire would set up a food collection point in our office and ask for donations of food from our team. The premise is Each month we collect food to take to our local food bank in Hazel Grove. We devised a list of items which are needed by the food bank from the as instructed by the Stockport Foodbank website. Our team were informed that we looking for food donations from the team, but only if they can afford to.

Who Uses Food Banks

• 39% are Single Men
• 13% Single Mum with Children
• 12% Single Women
• 9% Couple with Dependent Children

Visit to Stockport Foodbank – Hazel Grove

Today I visited our local food bank in Hazel Grove and met the manager Nigel Tedford. Nigel explained the process our food donation would be processed. With core items of food being weighed and put into temporary storage until they get added to the main stock in the bank. Everything is dated and the accumulated amount of food is collated and we can request a total of the quantity of food we have donated, how many people we have helped (units of 3 day provision as that is how the bank draws down on stock per customer).

Nigel showed me the process in which customers experience when they are referred to the food bank. They are greeted with a brew, a biscuit and somewhere to sit, whilst a team of volunteers pick and pack their food. This is based on the requirements of the individual, their family and circumstances. This also goes as far as dietary requirements and pets if they have them. Each referred person or family gets three days of provisions. To make sure that everything is correct the team has ‘Food Allocation Forms’ designed to ensure the correct amount of goods.
It was one of the food allocations forms which hit home with me. Along the top it clearly stated Food Allocation Form – Family with 3-5 children.

Moving Forward

So that is our little plan, to fill this table as much as we can. To help those who need it only if we can. We are also using social media to offer to collect any food which people would like to add to our donation.

The Item List for a Family with 3 – 5 Children

• Cereal 1 Large Packed
• Beans/Spaghetti 6 Tins
• Biscuits 2 x Medium Packs
• Fish 5 Tins
• Fruit 3 Tins
• Juice 1 Litre Carton
• Meat 3 Tins (This could be Vegetarian Option)
• Milk 3 x 1 Litre Cartons (Long Life)
• Pasta/Rice/Noodles 2KG
• Pasta Sauce 1 Jar
• Potatoes 2 pkts/tins
• Rice Pudding 3 Tins
• Soup 6 Tins
• Tea/Coffee 160 Bags/1Jar
• Tomatoes 5 Tins
• Vegetables 5 Tins
• Toiletries as Required
• Shampoo 1 Bottle
• Toilet Roll 2 Rolls
• Toothpaste 1 Tube
• Toothbrush If Required
• Soap 1 Bar
• Nappies 1 Packet
• Cat/Dog Food
• Treats as Available

Seasonality and Shortages

Nigel at the food bank explained that they have seasonality issues and items that are always in demand. When it is Christmas, they also collect gifts for children and festive fare and with every service there are times when some donations just fall short of where they need to be. Now they are running short of Powdered Mash Potato. A simple thing to most but potatoes go in every food pack and when they have little it is hard to make everything work for the customer.

Want to help? – Got Any Mash?

As stated, we are already running our own collection of food here at PAL Hire. But if you are local and you wish to or can donate food as per the list above, then please do not hesitate to come and visit us and drop off here. We are receiving collections at our office from 09:00 to 4pm Monday to Friday and we will be dropping off at the Hazel Grove Food Bank once a month (unless inundated).
If you want more information about Stockport Foodbank, then you can get more information from their website https://stockport.foodbank.org.uk/.

PAL Hire Drop Foodbank Drop Off
Unit 7
Station View
Hazel Grove
Stockport
SK7 5ER