National company donates van to local branch of community dining charity

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A large UK company has generously donated a van to a local branch of national community dining charity Foodcycle. 

The West Midlands Foodcycle team received the ex-lease combo van from Integral UK Ltd last month. Integral serves businesses and organisations in 60,000 locations across the country, being ‘the leading Mechanical, Electrical and Fabric property maintenance business in the UK’.

Integral employee Gill Flaherty is a volunteer at the Aston Foodcycle and brought the charity to the attention of the company, who decided to donate the van to make it easier for volunteers to pick up the hundreds of kilos of surplus food donated each week from local shops and supermarkets.

Some of Birmingham’s Foodcycle volunteers: Eileen Morgan, Gill Flaherty, Jennifer Haughton and Matthew Hales.

It is now 10 years since FoodCycle served their first guest and they have since cooked the equivalent of over 1 million meals across England using food that would otherwise go to waste.

Locally, volunteers and community members sit down together for a free community meal – made with surplus food from local businesses including Marks and Spencer and Jack’s supermarkets – at Longbridge Methodist Church every Monday evening. The meals are a great way to provide a healthy dinner for those in need, company for those isolated socially and an opportunity for people from all corners of the local community to gather together.

Nigel Birkinshaw, Head of Commercial and Compliance and Shane Betts, Head of Corporate Accounts recently handed over the van and keys to Foodcycle volunteers at Integral’s West Bromwich office.

Nigel said: “We are delighted that Gill has brought FoodCycle to our attention and it is a pleasure to support their work through the donation of this van.

“It is clear to see the passion and commitment they have in helping provide less fortunate members of the community with food and hot meals – things that many of us take for granted. We are glad that Integral could help out in this small way and we wish them the very best for the future.”

Justin Powell, Regional Manager for the Midlands and South West of England at FoodCycle said: “In recent months a number of retail and wholesale suppliers have contacted FoodCycle in Birmingham asking us to collect surplus food. We are thrilled Integral has donated a van to help us collect this surplus and feed people who may be hungry or lonely. So a big thank you to Integral. Their support means we can continue to reduce food waste, food poverty and isolation in Birmingham and across the country.”

The Longbridge Foodcycle community meal takes place every Monday at 6.30pm at Longbridge Methodist Church, Bristol Road South.

If you are interested in volunteering or attending, you can find out more on the Longbridge Foodcycle webpage or Facebook page or by emailing longbridge@foodcycle.org.uk

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