Our Middlesbrough store’s community champion Jenny Barnett has made a huge difference to a local foodbank after the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme inspired her to get in touch and see if they needed help.
When she discovered the Redcar Area Foodbank was struggling to cope with demand she set up a permanent collection point in the store and started to volunteer at the centre every week – and now she’s supporting them with a grant application for a new warehouse.
Foodbank manager Helen Hedges said: “Jenny’s fantastic and the collection point has been a godsend to us – a real lifesaver – because sadly we're getting more clients than ever. Sometimes we get half a ton of donations each month from Asda which has kept us afloat, particularly in the summer when we were struggling for donations.
"It's brilliant having Jenny and Asda on board – the whole relationship works really well, and she's so good with the children who come in with clients. She's helped us set up awareness days in the store too which is great.
The Asda Fight Hunger Create Change scheme will deliver £20 million to FareShare and The Trussell Trust, who support foodbanks like the one in Redcar. Volunteers at the Redcar Foodbank are now working with The Trussell Trust to apply for a grant for a new warehouse so they can do more to help people in the town – and Jenny is supporting them every step of the way.
Jenny said: “When I first heard of the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change campaign I thought the store should have a link to a local foodbank so I contacted the one at Redcar.
"I set up a permanent collection point and wanted to offer my services in person too. After my first shift there they said 'Please come back next week!' so I go every Wednesday.
"I have a great relationship with them. They're absolutely brilliant – they're like my best friends.
"When I'm there I help out in the cafe serving free hot meals to guests, wash up, make up food parcels, meet and greet the guests and play with their children while they're getting support – anything they need."
Find out more about Asda's Fight Hunger Create Change campaign here.