Coronavirus: Morrisons to donate £10m worth of groceries to food banks
The supermarket chain will be upping production at its manufacturing sites to help support the vulnerable
UK supermarket chain Morrisons is upping its production at its fruit and vegetable, egg and bakery packing sites in order to donate £10 million worth of food to food banks.
Unlike other UK supermarkets, Morrisons has its own manufacturing sites – so it has been able to ramp up production not only for its customers but also for those in need. Working hours at the sites will be increased by one hour per day, allowing workers to prepare and pack more essential fresh items.
Deliveries of tinned food and pasta will also be sent out to all Morrisons stores to be given to local food banks by ‘community champions’ – Morrisons staff members who work with the local community.
The Coronavirus outbreak has caused an estimated 40% reduction in donations to food banks, at a time when the poor and vulnerable are relying on donated food more than ever. And with many volunteers self-isolating to help curb the spread of the virus, food banks across the UK have found themselves struggling to cope with demand.
Morrisons chief executive David Potts said, “As a food maker and shopkeeper we are uniquely placed to help. We know food banks are finding life very difficult and running our manufacturing sites for an extra hour each day to help restock them is the right decision at this time.
“The core purpose of all 96,537 colleagues at Morrisons is to play our full part in feeding the nation. #ItsMoreThanOurJob.”
All in all, the supermarket chain plans to distribute £10 million worth of groceries to food banks by July.
To help to encourage customers to make their own donations to food banks, purchase limits on items will either be raised from three items to four, or removed entirely – and Morrisons in-store cafes will be reopened to serve as donation hubs.
A number of other UK supermarkets have also announced plans to make donations. Asda will donate a total of £5 million to FareShare – the UK’s largest food redistribution charity – and the Trussell Trust network of food banks, providing an estimated 4 million meals to families in need. The Co-Op will also be donating £1.5 million worth of food to FoodShare.
Meanwhile, discount supermarket chain Lidl is set to start donating bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to NHS staff combatting Coronavirus on the frontline.