Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
3:51 PM 9th November 2020

Yorkshire Food Retailer Helps Feed Homeless And Vulnerable This Winter

More than 30,000 items given to good causes this year alone
Animal shelters and children’s charities also benefit from retailer’s generosity

As more families look set to be plunged into poverty this winter with the introduction of a second national lockdown, Approved Food is stepping up its donation scheme to help feed the needy and vulnerable.

Approved Food’s charity volunteer Neil Waine supervises another donation to street kitchen volunteers
Approved Food’s charity volunteer Neil Waine supervises another donation to street kitchen volunteers
The online surplus food retailer has so far donated more than 30,000 items to good causes this year – and has pledged to continue this across the winter to ensure street kitchens, food banks and animal sanctuaries have sufficient stock to feed their clients.

In addition to donating goods, the company has also raised hundreds of pounds for good causes, including £250 for Hallam FM’s Cash For Kids appeal, that aims to support vulnerable families during the pandemic, and £175 for the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust.

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest foodbank network, estimates that the number of people in extreme poverty could double by December as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It predicts at least 670,000 more people will be unable to meet basic needs such as food, shelter or clothing if the support provided during the crisis to low-income households is withdrawn.

There is little doubt that the demand for support from food banks will rise sharply as the effects of the second national lockdown kick in. The Trussell Trust forecasts a 61% increase in demand for food parcels, with six needed every minute from October to December.

So far this year, the Barnsley-based retailer has given pallets of food, drink and household essentials to a raft of organisations across the north of England. These include:

Food banks and street kitchens across South and West Yorkshire;
The Real Junk Food Project and FareShare Yorkshire;
Drop-in centres;
Mental health support scheme Andy’s Man Club;
Animal sanctuaries;
Children’s charities such as Ruddi’s Retreat, Short Lives Together, Hallam FM’s Cash For Kids and the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust;
The Huddersfield Town Foundation;
NHS Together;
Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield;
Yorkshire Air Ambulance;
Sheffield Women’s Refuge.

The company has always supported food banks and other charities on an ad hoc basis, but when volunteer Neil Waine joined the team, the aim was to reach out to establish a wide-reaching network of organisations that would put donations to good use. So far, food, drink, household essentials, personal care products, animal feed and baby care items have been among the range of goods donated.

MD Andy Needham said:
“Our philosophy is that food should be on your plate, not in the bin. We’ve campaigned for many years for better education about what ‘best before’ dates on food labels mean, to reduce the amount of perfectly good food that is needlessly thrown away.

“Sadly, it seems that more people than ever will need the support of a food bank to feed themselves this winter, so it’s vitally important that their stocks don’t run dry. Some incredible people make sure the most vulnerable in our society get a hot meal when they need it.

“The least we can do is to make sure that their shelves are well stocked.”

Approved Food specialises in the online sale of surplus food, drink, household essentials and beauty products. The range includes items that are close to or just past their ‘best before’ date, ensuring that rather than going to waste, these perfectly good products end up on someone’s plate rather than in the bin.