The group behind well-known brands such as Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb has donated emergency funding of £100,000 and $50,000 to support food banks in the UK and USA through the Covid-19 crisis.
As a result of the pandemic, food banks have experienced a soaring increase in demand. The Watches of Switzerland Group recognised the urgent need for funding to feed families, and in response pledged this financial aid to areas of the UK and USA – two nations amongst the hardest hit by the virus.
The donations have been shared between seven of The Trussell Trust’s food banks in UK cities where the group has a store portfolio, including Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Bristol and London. While the USA donation has been gifted to food banks in New York, Las Vegas and Florida.
As a direct impact of Covid-19, in the UK there has been a 89 per cent increase in demand for emergency food parcels, including a 107 per cent rise in parcels given to children. While in the USA, it is estimated that over 26 million people have lost their jobs since the pandemic hit.
Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group, said:“During the Covid-19 crisis as more and more people fall on hard times, we are very aware of the significant increase in those relying on food banks and we wanted to play a small role in giving back to those most in need.
“While looking after the health and wellbeing of our colleagues has been our main priority, we also recognised the need to look after the people living in the communities around our stores. Our people have always been truly passionate about helping local causes, and we hope that these donations will help the food banks keep up with the demand they are experiencing to feed families in the UK and USA.”
John McCorry, chief executive of the city’s West End Foodbank, added: “This donation will help to sustain our services in the coming months as financial insecurity for many people will unfortunately worsen. It is particularly rewarding when an individual or company reaches out to help others in their time of need. For that, I would like to express my gratitude to The Watches of Switzerland Group for their generosity of spirit and financial support.”