Cumberland Building Society serve up donation to food redistribution work

June 2023

A donation to our work will help charitable groups across Cumbria to deliver more food to communities in need.

The Cumberland Building Society has committed to donating £250,000 to our Food Redistribution Centre. This will create savings and generate direct donations to the charitable groups we supply across Cumbria.

The donation will support dozens of CFMs (Community Food Members) across Cumbria, and a handful in Lancashire – all within the communities served by The Cumberland’s branches.

The Food Redistribution Centre – the Lancashire and Cumbria arm of FareShare’s national network – delivers millions of meals to communities across the two counties every year.

Donations and sponsorships help to deliver and enhance this work. The Cumberland Building Society’s donation will create valuable savings for each member group, worth between £4,800-£7,200 annually. This will cover the membership fees of each group while a direct donation will also be sent to groups, helping them to buy in more food or expand provision for communities.

Recycling Lives Charity’s Chief Executive, Alasdair Jackson, said: “This is a really exciting partnership The Cumberland has agreed to. Donating a portion of profits will directly benefit groups working in the same communities served by the building society.

“We already knew The Cumberland had a generous membership, as we received a £15,200 donation from them back in 2020. This helped us to meet the huge influx of need at the height of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.

“Sadly, that turned out to be just a practice for the cost-of-living crisis, which has sent demand higher than ever. But with the support of organisations like The Cumberland, and via our network of incredible CFMs, we’re able to get help to people who need it most.”

Demand for the food redistribution work has tripled in recent years as more people experience food poverty or food insecurity, with need further intensified by the cost-of-living crisis.

By taking surplus stock from food retailers, manufacturers and growers and redistributing this to charitable groups it both reduces food waste and tackles food poverty. It supports 137 Community Food Members (CFMs) including community co-operatives, school breakfast clubs and food pantries, which feed around 20,000 people each year. Groups take a range of fresh, frozen, ambient and chilled produce, using this to create hot meals, hampers or ‘social supermarket’ settings for people in need.

Cumberland chief executive Des Moore said: “We’re launching our Kinder Kind of Kitchens community initiative as an impactful development to improve the lives of people in dire need.

“Far too many people worry about getting enough food to feed their families. They can’t move forward in life because they’re thinking about where their next meal is coming from. The use of community kitchens, meal clubs and foodbanks in Cumbria has risen dramatically in 12 months. Demand is outstripping supply and there is little sign of that changing.

“Kinder Kind of Kitchens will help tackle the issue head on by making a substantial donation to serve hot meals and provide food to people in food poverty.”

The donation is already coming through, with savings and surplus passed on to CFMs from July 1. All eligible CFMs have been notified directly.

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