Independent Spar retailer, MK Vaish, is urging other independent retailers to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis by donating short dated and damaged goods to local charities and food banks.
MK has three Spar stores in Greater Manchester and proudly offers weekly support to Lifeshare, a charity that supports homeless and vulnerable people across Greater Manchester.
Vaish explained: “Homelessness is a particular problem in Greater Manchester and something that is very important to my regular SPAR shoppers.
“For over five years now, Spar Offerton has been collecting short dated and damaged goods for Lifeshare to pick up and distribute to those most in need across the city.
“Since the beginning of lockdown, customers have also been donating products and sharing our collection through local Facebook groups. Produce can be anything from loaves of bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereal and tinned goods, toilet roll and sanitary products.”
Vaish added: “The great thing is that Lifeshare can freeze short dated stock and create hot, nutritional meals with the ingredients. This partnership not only reduces the amount of waste in-store, it also reaches the most vulnerable people in my local community so I’m thrilled that we can work together to reach those most in need.”
The coronavirus crisis has triggered an unprecedented demand for food banks, with some charities recording a 59% increase in requests for emergency support.
Lifeshare is no different. Even before the crisis, the number of destitute families living in Manchester B&Bs had tripled within five years (Manchester Evening News, 2019) with rough sleeping across the city increasing by 34% during 2018 (Ministry of Housing, 2019).
Judith Vickers, operations manager at Lifeshare said: “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on those we support and has required us to change the way we operate, closing our face to face services to work remotely, distributing regular food parcels for those most in need.
“These donations are a lifeline to many of the clients we serve, including those who are homeless, living in temporary accommodation, escaping domestic violence, food and fuel poverty.
“Thank you to Spar Offerton for their continued support and Spar customers for generously donating. Community spirit and generosity is needed more than ever, and we are truly grateful for the support our local community offers, enabling us to continue this free lifeline for those greatly in need.”