True sustainability goes far beyond the ‘green’. Our goal is to make a positive difference through reducing our negative impact on the environment but also through promoting social sustainability; supporting the welfare of people and looking after local communities.
Recent times have seen increasing numbers of people turning to food banks because ends just don’t meet. Three million emergency food parcels were provided to people facing hardship across the UK between April 2022 and March 2023, this is an increase of 37% compared to last year and is the highest level the Trussell Trust have ever seen*.
In 2022, as a business, we committed to supporting The Trussell Trust and Lincoln’s local food banks, but supporting the community is not just a corporate initiative, our colleagues are just as much a driving force behind what the business is doing.
Last November, we launched an initiative to donate to local foodbanks to support them in the run up to Christmas, when demand is at its peak due to the additional financial pressures that time of year brings. Our team were keen for this support to continue past Christmas, and at the start of this year we set up monthly food collections.
The support of the local food banks will be continued indefinitely, and not just through monthly donations of food items. The foodbanks only exist because of a network of volunteers who give their time, and following discussions in early 2023 around what practical support Ruddocks could offer, we made the decision to pledge volunteer time. So, our staff are given two hours of paid time off each week to support at the food bank warehouses and distribution centres, to help make a real difference where it is most needed.
While giving their time each week, our colleagues have met a lot of dedicated volunteers and have come to understand the real needs within our communities and how the food banks are providing vital support for individuals and families.
Our Managing Director Paul Banton said: “The volunteering initiative was borne out of ideas put to us from some of the team, and we’re proud to have over half of our staff now volunteering every week. Two hours a week has minimal impact from a business point of view but is making a huge difference in our communities.
It’s collective efforts that have the biggest impact, and we hope we can encourage other organisations to look at small ways they can also help to make a positive contribution.
Find out how you and your organisation can get involved in supporting the foodbanks in your area
*Source: Record number of emergency food parcels provided to people facing hardship by Trussell Trust food banks in past 12 months.