Why wouldn’t you help out when you see people in need?
Alan Taylor, Taylors Transport
A new foodbank delivery scheme which will see over one hundred and fifty thousand food items reach people in need in the next eight weeks is up and running, thanks to Rotarians and the drive and generosity of East Midlands Chamber member – international haulage firm Taylors Transport.
The scheme – Rotary4foodbanks – is being led by Rotary Clubs in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire and is already delivering much needed supplies to foodbanks in the area, with the help of MD Alan Taylor and his team.
Explains Rotary’s co-ordinator John Cavey: “We could see a huge and growing need for foodbank provision in our area. As a leading UK charity organisation Rotary is committed to helping meet that need. From our own charity funds we have already allocated £35,000 to buy goods wholesale. Our plan is to extend that with another £60,000 by the end of July. By then we hope many more businesses will see the benefit in what we are doing for some of the country’s most needy and become supporters of the scheme.”
Foodbank use is on the increase as people lose their jobs because of the virus, and that situation is only going to get worse in the coming months. Year on year foodbanks saw an 81 percent increase in demand for emergency food at the end of March. The situation will probably only get worse as thousands of people lose their jobs or face pay cuts, which means they simply cannot afford to eat. This comes at a time when food banks are already stretched to the limit – in 2019 they supplied 1,808,949 emergency food supplies, a year on year increase of 20 per cent.
But, explains John, without warehousing and an effective distribution network, Rotary4foodbanks would not be able to operate on the scale that is needed to meet that growing demand. That’s where local businessman and long-time Rotarian, Alan Taylor, stepped in.
Despite his own business feeling the strain imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic – Taylors has furloughed around 50% of its 200 vehicles and 300 staff – Alan agreed to set aside around 2000sq ft of warehousing space and allocate existing staff to sort stock for distribution.
“Why wouldn’t you help when you see people in need?” he says. “Even though we work internationally we have always been rooted in the East Midlands and it is only right to give back to the community in which you are based. It is a philosophy which runs right through to the heart of the business.”
Already, Taylors is making deliveries for the NHS and helping with the Daily Mail’s Mail Force PPE scheme. Now their vehicles are taking Rotary Club food supplies free of charge to foodbanks across the region as far east as Grantham and as far north as Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield.
Says John Cavey: “The team at Taylors typifies all that is good about British business and its willingness to dig in and help the most vulnerable in the community. Now we are hoping that other businesses will support our initiative, with cash and goods donations to make sure that no family falls through the net when it comes to having enough food to eat.”
While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, John and his team are looking to roll it out more broadly. “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks in the North East especially, where Rotarians are looking to utilise the Rotary4foodbanks scheme to help meet that demand.”
Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally. “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public, and businesses like Alan’s, to see us through.”
Anyone wanting to help in the programme – or foodbanks requiring Rotary4foodbanks – support can contact John Cavey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07855 299443
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Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks