COVID-19: JCB food aid initiative hits major milestone
Company chefs serve up 25,000th meal as ‘Food for our Communities’ scheme enters final month
JCB’s ‘Food for our Communities’ initiative today hit a major milestone as company chefs served up the 25,000th meal for those in need in Staffordshire.
Since the launch of the scheme – the idea of Carole Bamford, wife of JCB chairman Lord Bamford – catering staff at the company’s World HQ, in Rocester, have prepared cottage pies, macaroni cheese and Bolognese dishes for disadvantaged families and individuals across the region during the coronavirus crisis.
Today, the 25,000th meal was cooked and despatched from JCB’s kitchen since the start of the initiative in March. So far, the team has used around five tonnes of potatoes, more than 2.5 tonnes of minced beef and more than a tonne of both pasta and onions to prepare the dishes.
In India – where JCB have factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur – the scale of the initiative to support local communities has been even greater, with more than 175,000 meals served up during the course of the project.
Carole Bamford said: ‘The teams in the UK and India have done an amazing job in supporting our communities during this crisis and the provision of more than 200,000 meals has made such a positive difference to so many people.’
JCB chef Alastair Rowe said: ‘This has been an extremely rewarding initiative to have been involved in, knowing that it has helped so many people in our local communities.’
Since its launch, the project – which concludes at the end of this month – has expanded to include sandwiches, and so far around 6,000 have been made for distribution to the homeless in Stoke-on-Trent and for inclusion in food parcels for vulnerable people in the Uttoxeter area. The company is also supplying St. Michael’s Church Support Group in Rocester with 100 meals a week for villagers who are in need.
JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. Daylesford – founded by Carole Bamford – has supplied organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.
Thousands of the meals made in Staffordshire are being distributed to children and families in need across Stoke-on-Trent by the Burslem-based Hubb Foundation. JCB are also working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.
As well as providing thousands of meals, JCB have also donated vital PPE to frontline workers and the company and its employees have volunteered to produce visors for the NHS.
Inspired by these efforts, JCB-sponsored athletes, slalom canoeist Adam Burgess and triple jumper Ben Williams, took on a marathon weight-lifting challenge and have so far raised more than £2,400 for the Royal Stoke University Hospital.