A LOCAL homeless shelter and a Christian welfare charity have partnered with MediaCityUK’s Booths supermarket to provide a food bank for the store.
Caritas, a Roman Catholic social wellbeing charity based in Manchester, is teaming-up with homeless support facility Cornerstone to allow the public to donate any unwanted food to Booths for those in need.
The food bank project will be supported by the Booths store, who will give any safe food that would be otherwise be wasted – to the homeless at Cornerstone.
Colin Porter, customer experience development manager at the Booths MediaCityUK store, said: “As a business trying to do the right thing for the community fits into our culture. We were looking for local community groups that we could help out and one of the workers at the store suggested Cornerstone,
“We made contact with them, had a couple of meetings about what we can do, and how we can support them, because it’s more about them than it is about us.”
The launch of the food bank in the store on October 12, is the Quays supermarket’s first partnership with any charity since their opening in 2014.
Mr Porter added: “It’s very early days but we’re strongly driven to try to employ a homeless person as part of the project. We want to offer these people some kind of work experience, so we can give them something on their CV which currently they probably don’t have,
“What we do as a business is we like to think we do the right thing. I think morally we have an obligation where we need to help people – sometimes I think if we all did a little bit more then it would make a massive difference.”
Homeless shelter Cornerstone has been operating for 25 years, and their partnership with Booths is the latest in a list that includes partnerships with Costco, Greggs, FareShare, and Nandos.
Lawrence Bettany, director of the Cornerstone project, said: “Booths approached us with some perfectly fine food that they were going to throw out- and that’s how the relationship grew, to the point where we agreed to have a food bank put in store,
“It is essential for the business sector to be working alongside the voluntary sector and the shared resource, and what we can do with that.”
Mr Bettany noted: “There is so much more that could be done – food is no longer an issue for us anymore – we get a lot of food and that’s brilliant but we would love to have relationships with companies that provide other resources like IT training and employability training to the homeless.”
The partnership between the charities and Booths comes at a time when food banks are becoming increasingly necessary.
The Cornerstone centre is a homeless centre that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It has been providing services to vulnerable adults and people experiencing rough sleeping through Manchester in that time.
The shelter anywhere up to 200 people using it every day. It’s an open access facility including hot meals, showers, launderette, IT support, and a barbers.
The homeless facility also holds English, Maths, and alcoholics anonymous classes.