Working with a number of Manchester organisations – including The Bread and Butter Thing, Fareshare, Trussell Trust and Open Kitchen – vans, drivers and phone operators are taking calls for help, picking up donations and distributing support packages to those that need them.
A team from the City Council is then coordinating up to 1,000 deliveries everyday to ensure the people in need in the city have enough and to help those self-isolating.
City Council staff are already being redeployed from their regular roles to support the massive logistical effort to reach vulnerable households.
This week Mars Wrigley have donated 65,000 Easter eggs that will be distributed as part of support packages prior to Easter Sunday, as well as gifts to the children of key workers and NHS staff who are still currently at school.
North Manchester restaurant Vermillion has also lent itself to the relief effort. The Indian restaurant and takeaway has pledged to support North Manchester General Hospital with free deliveries of food to help keep medics and support staff going.
And 25,000 airline meals have been pledged to the city by Alpha LSG that would otherwise have gone to waste that will add to the vital supply of dinners going to Manchester families.
However, as the Bank Holiday weekend approaches – and as food banks continue to report shortages of key stock – a further call for businesses to donate and unneeded food stocks, where they are able to.
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Households who can donate food and supplies that they do not need themselves can do so through their local supermarket.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: – “The effort of both the public and private sectors coming together to get food to those who need it most is remarkable. It shows what we can achieve when we all pull in the same direction and work as a team.
“Thousands of support packs have already been delivered and that is thanks to Council staff, charities, volunteers and the city’s business community doing what they must to help tackle the outbreak. A huge debt of thanks is owed to all of them.
“But the effort must go on. So if you are a business with surplus stock or extra stores – please consider donating. There are people in this city who are in dire need and I’d urge anyone who can to lend their hand.”