Ella’s Kitchen Brands issues rallying call with donation to Company Shop Group

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Ella’s Kitchen, the UK’s largest baby and toddler food manufacturer, has lent its support to vulnerable families across the UK with a donation of nearly 50,000 products to Community Shop to help those at risk of food poverty.

Award-winning social enterprise Community Shop, part of the Company Shop Group, is aiming to deliver 150,000 food boxes to communities across the UK, over the next 12 weeks, working in partnership with local councils’ dedicated Covid-19 response teams.

The scheme, which will extend from Cornwall to Liverpool, London to Leeds, will provide much-needed food and personal care products to people identified by the local authorities as being most in need of support.

The boxes are packed according to a list of products supplied by the Trussell Trust, meaning each box follows nationally recognised guidelines. This helps Community Shop to deliver practical, balanced and nutritious parcels, each worth up to £50.

Ella’s Kitchen has donated a range of products suitable for children from six months to six years old. This contribution will be packed into dedicated ‘baby boxes’, alongside other age appropriate products, directly supporting families with young children. An accompanying financial donation will help Community Shop with the logistics and distribution of the food boxes and to purchase additional stock.

With families being hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, and reports that food banks across the country are seeing an increase in usage of up to 300% in some of the hardest hit areas, Ella’s Kitchen is also encouraging other businesses to explore how they can support the Community Shop initiative, if they have the resources to do so.

Mark Cuddigan, CEO of Ella’s Kitchen, said: “In these challenging times, with more families struggling to access healthy, affordable meals, we need to come together as businesses and do everything we can to support our people, our partners and those in society who need it the most.  We’re proud to support the amazing work Community Shop is doing to provide greater access to quality food, drink and household items, for those most in need.

We understand this is only a fraction of what’s needed to be able to deliver 150,000 boxes to vulnerable people across the UK, so we are calling on more businesses to get in touch with Community Shop and add their support, so more people can benefit from this much needed initiative.”

Jane Marren, managing director of Company Shop and Community Shop, said: “We are incredibly proud to have joined up with our partner Ella’s Kitchen on this latest initiative, as we work together to make a lasting difference to vulnerable children and families at a time when they need us most.

“Our partnership with Ella’s Kitchen has enabled us to tailor and refine the support we can provide for families and children in particular, providing not only nutritious baby food but essential household items which are so important at this time.

“The invaluable support from Ella’s Kitchen, and their generous donation, will go so far in helping thousands of families who are now facing even greater hardship. This initiative, and our wider food parcel scheme would not be possible without the generosity of Ella’s Kitchen and our other industry partners.”

Ella’s Kitchen is building on an existing relationship with Company Shop Group, the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus stock. Company Shop procures surplus food, drink and household products from the supply chain, and makes it available at discount prices in their member-only supermarkets, which are open to people in food manufacturing, the NHS and emergency services. During this crisis, that membership has also been extended to the care sector and other personnel deemed to be key workers.

The boxes initiative is being run by the Company Shop’s social enterprise Community Shop, and is distributing the to the people who need it most. Community Shop is open to people on welfare support and has seen a rise in members in recent weeks, even whilst visits to the stores have been reduced due to social distancing measures – making this scheme so important.

Ella’s Kitchen is also supporting organisations local to their head office near Henley on Thames. These including local a number of primary schools in Reading as well as charities such as SOFEA and FareShare Thames Valley based in Didcot, both of whom are working to ensure that food reaches vulnerable people across the region. Ella’s is also making a further donation of 50,000 products to national charity partner His Church, which again will be redistributed to help meet urgent needs at this unprecedented time

To get in touch about supporting the Community Shop initiative, please contact: natalie.brown@community-shop.co.uk