To mark Volunteers' Week, we've been saying a big thank you to all the wonderful people who have been working so tirelessly in our local food banks in recent weeks.
Volunteers across the country are doing amazing and difficult work in their local communities and we wanted to let them know just how much they're appreciated.
The last few weeks have been especially busy for food banks and the food charity the Trussell Trust reported that 6,250 food parcels were given out each day during the first two weeks of the pandemic – that's an 81% increase compared to the same period last year. We've already announced that we’re donating £5 million to the Trussell Trust and FareShare to help them support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Community champions at our stores, like Diane Munns from Peterborough pictured above with volunteer Tom from Peterborough Foodbank, say their help is invaluable. She said: "A big thank to all the volunteers out there like Tom who collects our customers' donations every week to give back to the community."
Beth Domingo, the community champion at our Oadby store, shared this photo, above, thanking Open Hands Leicester and Oadby Food Bank for all their fantastic work. She said: "We are so happy to support you at this challenging time. Keep up the great work."
Our Thornaby store's community champion Cathryn Abel, above, wanted to thank the great teams at Salvation Project and Thornaby Foodbank for all their hard work in making such a difference to the community.
Lucie Brown, community champion at our Blackwood store, below, shared this photo of herself thanking the wonderful team at Pantside Foodbank. She said: "It’s a newly set up food bank and the volunteers there are all working so hard to keep up with the very high demand. Keep up the good work and stay safe."
Michelle Castledine, community champion at our Gosforth store, pictured below, says the volunteers at West End Foodbank work tirelessly all your round. She said: "Our donation point in store is always full and is collected by volunteers weekly. We all appreciate your dedication in helping those in need."
Our Bournemouth store's community champion Nicky said the store was so supportive of the wonderful team at Bournemouth Foodbank saying: "Volunteers are the backbone of many charities and we salute you."
Pamela Yuce, community champion at our Aberdeen store, above, is seen putting a colourful thank you card in about the totes ready to be collected by the amazing team at Aberdeen North Foodbank. She said: "Hopefully it will brighten up their day and show them that all their extra work is appreciated."
And Clare Jones, community champion at our Isle of Wight store, shared this photo, above, of a thank you card for the team at the Isle of Wight Foodbank signed by colleagues at the store. She said: "We'd just like to thank everyone all their hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic and all through the year."
Our Dewsbury store's community champion Sharon Kingswood shared this photo, above, of herself thanking the "amazing" team from Purpose For Life. She said: "Their amazing team of volunteers are delivering food parcels every day and really are making a difference on our community."
And Carol Graham, community champion at our Tamworth store, shared this photo of the management team saying a big thank you to Tamworth Food Bank Volunteers for their dedication and hard work.