Our Bangor store's community champion Ami Craig works closely with the Bangor Foodbank and Community Support – so she wanted to spread a little Christmas cheer to show her support for the wonderful work they do for people in need of a little extra help.
The foodbank used to use household freezers to store food, so Ami arranged a surprise donation of an industrial freezer, full of festive food to enable the group to store prepared meals and provide frozen meals to families in need during the holidays, as well as a donation of 150 slow cookers. She also set up a cookery demonstration by chef Brian Magill from South Eastern Regional College, a delicious three-course meal and all the ingredients to make the meal at home, as well as laying on a singing Santa in his sleigh!
Ami said: "Bangor Foodbank and Community Support do incredible work for our community. I remember meeting project manager Ken Scott a few years back when I took on the role of community champion. He is brilliant and is so passionate about supporting those in need.
"We were delighted to surprise the group with this incredible festive donation from the Asda Foundation. The freezer and slow cookers will really help the group transform its services and do more for local people which is amazing.
"It was a fantastic day, and we were delighted to be part of it. The group really has a special place in our heart at Asda Bangor."
Ken said the Asda donations would make a massive difference to the local community.
He said: "The Christmas donation will transform the services we provide. Our partnership with Asda began eight years ago through the permanent collection point in the Bangor store.
"This is a fantastic help for us all year around, but the donation from Asda Foundation this year has gone above and beyond our wildest expectations.
"The day went really well, and everyone was so shocked. The surprises just kept coming, from the freezer, to a visit from Santa, a chef hosting a cooking demonstration – which gave a lot of our guests the confidence to go home and make a low-cost meal for their family – as well as a three course meal on the day, slow cookers and all the ingredients!
"From January, we will be rolling out our slow cooker cooking courses thanks to Asda. This will help us support over 100 families, teaching them how to make a low-cost meal with ingredients we provide. Thanks to everyone at Asda Foundation for the incredible support."
And here's what some of the people who attended the Christmas surprise said:
"This was absolutely amazing, honestly, all these people that came together, they don’t realise what they are they doing to the average person because everybody works in their own little units, but when you put the whole package together, they are helping everybody. Without this there would be so many people in Bangor going hungry, there really would."
"Now we have the new freezer that Asda has kindly donated there are going to be hot meals for everybody. Asda giving all this food, all these gifts, teaching people how to cook in the Foodbank, with the help of SERC it’s just community coming together. The city of Bangor is delighted. Thank you!"
"Thank you, Ken. Thank you, Bangor Foodbank, thank you Asda! We’ve just had a really fantastic time. Thank you all!"
Established in January 2012, the foodbank in Bangor was founded by Bangor Elim and other local churches, offering nutritionally-balanced emergency food to local people in crisis with over 33,000 meals distributed to date.
Previously the group received an Asda Foundation grant of £20,250 which was used to renovate the foodbank building, which will provide a Community Resource Centre, a craft room, computer suite and a permanent baby bank.
Asda and our charity, the Asda Foundation, are spreading festive cheer to good causes this Christmas by investing over £2.4 million to support communities who are impacted by the rising cost of the living. The investment from the Asda Foundation will support over 2000 grassroots groups continue their work in communities despite rising running costs.
In addition to the direct investment into communities, we have also invested in in-store initiatives to help customers and communities combat the rising cost of living. We have served more than one million meals from our cafes through our Kids Eat for £1 and OAP Winter Warmer Café £1 meal deal.
Community groups who may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs are also being invited to Asda Cafes. Warm spaces are available on weekdays in December from 2pm to 6pm and all community group members who visit receive a free tea or coffee.