Innovate Blog
Bunzl Catering & Hospitality division launches employee volunteering scheme at FareShare, UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste.

Wednesday June 19, 2019

Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division has launched a volunteering scheme which encourages employees to support local charities by working as a hands-on volunteer one day each year. The scheme works by giving employees a day’s paid leave and linking employees to an online portal showing projects and initiatives in need of local volunteers.

First to volunteer as part of the scheme was Managing Director Matt Johnson, Senior National Account Manager Sophy Cox, Head of HR Stuart Fairbairn, Operations Manager Trevor Howlett and Marketing Executive Christian Randall, who joined the FareShare team in Deptford to sort and deliver food for London charities which provide meals to people in need as part of their services – such as homeless shelters and community centres.

On the day, volunteers were greeted warmly by FareShare’s Corporate Partnerships Manager Nichola Wilson, who provided a tour of the FareShare operation before the volunteers set to work. In the warehouse the willing volunteers helped put-away new stock and picked items ready for delivery, whilst on the vans they assisted with unloading and delivering the much-needed food and drink items to various sites across London.

Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division Managing Director Matt Johnson, one of the FareShare volunteers, comments: “We’ve been supporting FareShare for many years through donations of tea, coffee and a range of hygiene products, so it was marvellous to have the opportunity to spend the day with this great charity and to understand first-hand how they are helping to change people’s lives. The exciting launch of the Employee Volunteer Scheme allows us to volunteer with local charities like FareShare, where we can contribute our time and our skills to make a positive difference.”

Part of a Sodexo initiative called Stop Hunger, which sees Sodexo UK & Ireland employees donate time and skills to tackle hunger, support good nutrition and promote life skills in local communities, Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division officially launched the Employee Volunteering Scheme on 1 June to mark national Volunteers’ Week, a national initiative that celebrates the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK each year.

Regional Chair, Sodexo UK and Ireland and CEO, service operations worldwide Sean Haley, comments: “I’m pleased that Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division is joining Sodexo employees to tackle hunger and malnutrition through the Stop Hunger Foundation. Volunteering together means we help many more vulnerable people in the UK & Ireland. We are better when we act together.”

Lindsey Cape, Head of Fundraising at FareShare, said: “Currently, one in eight people in the UK struggle to afford to eat – yet at the same time, an estimated 250,000 tonnes of perfectly edible food goes to waste each year within the supply chain.

“FareShare is the largest operation of its kind in the UK, redistributing 20,000 tonnes of surplus food to help feed almost a million people each week in 1,900 towns and cities.  The need for our service has never been higher and so the support of Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division is absolutely vital in helping us realise our mission of ensuring no good food goes to waste. We are delighted to be strengthening our relationship with them by welcoming them as volunteers so they can see first-hand the impact their support has on tackling hunger and food waste in the UK.”

Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division is a socially responsible business with a track-record of working closely with local charities and communities across the UK to support a wide range of projects. The business has actively developed the volunteering scheme in partnership with its customer Sodexo, as part of its ongoing commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 3 – ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all ages.