Concord

supports Shrewsbury Food Hub during national lockdown

Wednesday May 27, 2020

During the national lockdown, Concord has made a ‘generous’ donation to the Shrewsbury Food Hub – a voluntary organisation that collects and delivers surplus food to the local community. The Shrewsbury Food Hub supports an incredible 62 local groups, including Barnabas Community Projects, The ARK homeless charity and Severn Hospice – some of which Concord has previously supported, as well as eleven schools, eleven youth clubs, other playgroups and children’s sports clubs. The goal of the charity is to reduce food waste, reduce food poverty and support the community – and during the UK lockdown, it’s essential that food is still available to those who need it. At Concord, where around eighty percent of the six-hundred students are boarders, accommodation has been cleared and cleaned by Concord’s domestic and pastoral teams, as students continue their education remotely from home. Pastoral Team Manager, Mrs Julia Kerslake said: “In early March as the pandemic was taking hold, the college made the decision to encourage our boarding students to travel home while flights were still available, and transport was not restricted. “Many students left in such a in a hurry that there was no time to pack their belongings! “A small group of staff and I stepped in and have now packed 497 bedrooms in three weeks, using 3000 boxes and hundreds of suitcases. I am extremely grateful to the packing team for their hard work. “As we were unable to store any items of food, we decided to donate it all to the Shrewsbury Food Hub who are supporting Shrewsbury Food Bank, and to The Prince Rupert Hotel that is currently accommodating the homeless, supported by The Ark. “Concord has delivered sixty boxes of surplus food and toiletries and we are very pleased that we could help our local community in this small way and would encourage other schools and businesses to do the same where possible.” Reflecting on the lockdown and the operations of the charity, Shrewsbury Food Hub Coordinator, Pippa Lobban said: “During lockdown, many of the community projects and clubs have unfortunately had to close down or stop running, however we’re still supporting around twenty-five that are still active, including the Shrewsbury Food Bank and ARK. “Since the ongoing effects of COVID-19, volunteers naturally had to drop from around sixty to twenty, due to people’s safety and wellbeing and others wanting to isolate. “However, we’ve re-designed how we operate to ensure maximum safety, trained up new volunteers and small groups work in family units to minimise contact with anyone else. “Currently, our volunteers collect surplus food from supermarkets, restaurants and local businesses every day. They then deliver it to the community groups. A lot of the food is passed the ‘best before’ date but still perfectly good to consume. ” She added: “The kindness from the public – including Concord – has been great. It’s been really nice to see the community spirit. “Being an international school, there’s food from all around the world in Concord’s donation, some of which I’ve never seen or heard of before! “Other schools such as Shrewsbury School and local businesses have also supported, providing vans to make the pick-ups and deliveries of essential food supplies. “The ongoing donations ensure we can continue providing top-up food for free school meal projects too, even whilst schools remain closed.” Find out how you can support by visiting the Shrewsbury Food Hub website or Facebook page