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Inside ANS: doing our bit to tackle the food poverty crisis

Inside ANS: doing our bit to tackle the food poverty crisis

Those of you who follow ANS’ CSR activities will know that we’re a generous bunch. We regularly sponsor charities events, get involved in fundraising activities and we can’t deny we’re quite partial to an office bake sale. Every year we attempt to beat our previous year’s fundraising total, splitting the money between our partner charities, The Manchester Youth Zone, Hide Out Zone and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. But for us, charity isn’t exclusively about raising money.

Often when you think of supporting charities, your first thought is often about giving financial donations, but this shouldn’t be the case. After years of incredible fundraising, we can actually make an even bigger difference and that is why we set up the ANS food bank back in 2018.

The need for food banks is increasing every year as the cost of food and energy skyrockets meaning more people in the UK are struggling to afford the essentials and are being forced into impossible decisions.

According to new data from The Trussell Trust, between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network distributed over 2.1 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis. This is an increase of 14% compared to the same period in 2019/20. 832,000 of these parcels went to children.

Every year since we established the foodbank, demand for donations has increased and with the Northwest suffering from the worst food poverty in the UK, we’re making it our mission to help out our local community in any way we can.

If you’ve visited our office, you’ll probably have noticed our Food Bank donation station taking pride of place in reception. We regularly encourage employees to check their cupboards at home or pick up a couple of extra items on their lunch break. We also have a great relationship with the team over at the Trussell Trust Food Bank. Whenever they’re running low of specific items, they send us a list and our employees raise to the challenge.

Once the donation station is full, we take the items to the Manchester South Central foodbank for distribution. But we don’t stop there. As well as donating food, we think it’s just as important to donate our time. We give all of our employees 5 volunteering days per year, and many choose to work at the foodbank and even rally support in local supermarkets (if you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Tesco Stretford you may very well have spotted a few of our team members working with the Trussell Trust handing out shopping list to customers and collecting lots of very generous donations).

If you’re planning to come into our offices, be sure to look out for the foodbank. Any donations will be gratefully received. Alternatively, to make a donation to The Trussell Trust or find out how to help a local foodbank, please visit www.trusselltrust.org