Clapham residents in charitable festive mood


Clapham High Street’s Sainsbury’s customers were encouraged to buy and donate food on Saturday’s ‘1 Million Meal Appeal’.


By Joel Durston

Clapham residents are getting very charitable this festive period if Sainsbury’s ‘1 Million Meal Appeal’ is anything to go by.

In the event at Clapham High Street’s Sainsbury’s – and 603 other Sainsbury’s stores – customers were encouraged to buy and donate one or more extra items of rice, pasta, instant coffee, tea bags or tinned products.

The event was run in association with long-term partners FareShare who, as is their general mission, are now redistributing to worthy causes the full pallet of food donated in Clapham. In addition to copious amounts donated elsewhere; a participating Cardiff store collected three pallets.

This will go to a network of over 700 charities and community projects supporting homeless, elderly and vulnerable people.

Sainsbury HR employee, Natalie Sanders, running the event Clapham Sainsbury’s on Saturday, said: “It’s gone very well. People in general have been more generous than I thought they would have done.

“I’ve been really impressed with how generous people have been,” she added.

This is especially so in the tough economic times Britain is currently experiencing.

Indeed, in this context an estimated 42% of charities have seen an increasing demand for food, with the majority struggling to meet this demand, due in part to government funding cuts – making the work of organisations such as FareShare particularly important.

Sainsbury’s have been working with FareShare for 17 years and they get a lot of fresh food in terms of things that have gone past their sell by date.

So, Ms Sanders said Saturday’s event was about getting food that would supplement this fresh produce so people could get a good, balanced meal out of it.

Speaking on whether this kind of thing would be introduced on a more general basis, she was cautiously optimistic.

She said: “I was talking to a colleague who’s French and he says they have little pots at the end of each aisle and people can donate an extra item to charity.

“This sounds like a really good plan, but I don’t know what the plans are from a corporate perspective.

“When you talking about donating a can or something it’s about 34p so it’s not too much that we’re asking for.”

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive, is very enthusiastic about the scheme, believing good food should not be wasted and should go to people first.

He said: “With people’s help we can feed even more good food to some of the poorest people in our society, and help in some way to give them a happy Christmas this year.”

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