Aberystwyth-based charity, Penparcau Community Hub, has ramped up the number of meals it’s providing to those in need thanks to M&S’s food redistribution programme.
An innovative colleague app, launched in March 2020, is used to notify charities when surplus food is available, helping to increase donations and stop food going to waste. Since the app launch, M&S Aberystwyth has provided over 19,134 meals to the local community.
Karen Rees Roberts, Forum Manager at Penparcau Community Hub in Aberystwyth said, “The team here at Penparcau Community Hub have been very busy supporting vulnerable and isolated members of the community and have now established Penparcau Action Team (PAT) so that we can work remotely and still keep services going as best we can. The M&S Food Surplus programme means great quality food can be distributed every weekend by the PAT team in a logistical, organised and controlled way providing additional support during the pandemic’’.
Adam Hensman, Food Team Manager at M&S Aberystwyth said, “When we have surplus food our absolute priority is for it to end up on someone’s plate, through our charity redistribution programme with Neighbourly. We’re thrilled that the app has already helped to make a difference to charities like Penparcau Community Hub who do such an incredible job in our local community. By providing charities with updates in real-time, they’re able to collect even more meals to feed the people they support and help us to prevent food going to waste.”
Since 2015, M&S stores have supported over 2,000 local causes nationwide, from food banks to youth clubs and hospices, donating over 21 million meals so far to those in need. In partnership with Neighbourly, a platform that connects company funds, surplus and volunteer time with local causes to make a positive impact, the colleague app is now in all 585 M&S stores, enabling many of them to more than double their food redistribution rates. Across the UK, more than ten million meals have been donated since 1st March 2020.
M&S is always looking for new partners to work with. Local charity and community groups who would like to get involved in the food surplus programme or other charity initiatives are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.