Staff from growing landlord Karbon Homes have donated more than 1,500 items to support food banks across the North East.
The donations were made as part of the organisation’s dress down day. Instead of contributing a cash donation, the 700-strong workforce was invited to donate items of food, which could then be delivered to local food banks.
Karbon Homes is one of the largest housing associations in the North East, owning and managing nearly 24,000 homes regionwide. As pressures increase on household budgets, the organisation is continuing its support of food banks after recognising the vital difference they make at the heart of local communities.
The event was held last Friday, September 15 and encouraged all donations to be collected during the morning so they could be delivered to food banks throughout the afternoon.
Volunteers from across Karbon Homes’ offices managed the donations, which included tinned foods, pasta, rice, jars, cereal, toiletries and even nappies. In addition to the items of food, some staff also chose to donate cash.
A team of drivers delivered the donations, in newly-branded Karbon Homes vehicles, to food banks across the region including Newcastle, Hexham, Morpeth, Stanley and Chester-le-Street.
Michael Nixon, CEO of Newcastle West End Food Bank, said: “Newcastle West End Food Bank is delighted to be part of this new initiative. We are especially pleased as it forms a new working relationship with a major housing provider. Hopefully we will be able to provide assistance to any tenants who find themselves in need and ease some of the suffering of families who have fallen on hard times.”
Linda Fugill, Project Manager for Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, said: “In the last 12 months, the demand for our service has grown by 32%, so we are now issuing more than 37,500 meals annually. Whilst it is a shame that the food bank is needed, it is good that we are here, able to help. Thanks so much to Karbon Homes for supporting us.”
Stuart Hudson, Distribution Centre Manager for County Durham Food Bank, said: “County Durham Food Bank welcomes the positive approach from Karbon Homes to work together helping people in crisis across County Durham including Karbon Homes’ residents. We are dependent from kind donations of food from the public so more than welcome this offer of support. We have seen an increase in food bank usage and forecast a rise of approximately 10% by the end of 2017.”
John Temple, Community Involvement Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “We want our support and commitment to food banks to be an ongoing project. The successful dress down day was the latest of many initiatives we organise to support our local community.
“With a staff force of over 700, we really feel we can make a difference. We understand how important food banks are for many of our residents and since our amalgamation to become one larger organisation, our commitment to the local communities we serve is stronger than ever.”