Supporting Stockport residents, charities and organisations with daily donations of fresh bread.
Allied Bakeries have been committed to supporting Stockport’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis by donating 200 loaves of bread every day.
Allied Bakeries is part of a larger food and retail group called Associated British Foods, whose brands includes Kingsmill, Twinings, Silver Spoon, and Primark. The Allied Bakeries site in Stockport is the Northwest home of Kingsmill and employs over 500 people. The Stockport site can produce up to 2 million loaves of bread a week!
Linzie, manager at Chelwood Foodbank
I'd like to say on behalf of the foodbank that Allied Bakeries have been a godsend during COVID-19 with ample supplies of fresh bread. It's been lovely to be able to supply our service users with a real staple item in their food parcel.
The idea behind the bread donation came from Carl Hampson, the General Manager at Allied Bakeries. He made arrangements with the council so that a daily donation of 200 freshly-baked loaves was picked up by Andy Kippax from Stockport Council. Andy squeezed all 200 loaves into his car every morning and then took the bread from the Allied Bakeries site at Bredbury Industrial Estate and delivered it to local organisations for distribution to those in food poverty across the borough; more recently, the organisations have been collecting the bread directly through a rota system coordinated by the council. These organisations include multiple foodbanks across Stockport, several schools in the borough, and charity and community groups such as The Cherry Tree Project and Young Caritas. The bakery also donates bread to Stepping Hill Hospital and other NHS locations, helping those who need it the most. It has been estimated that if all the crates of bread donated by Allied bakeries were stacked on top of each other, it would reach to 70m higher than the tallest skyscraper on Deansgate!
Linzie is the manager at Chelwood Foodbank, an independent foodbank that serves some of Stockport’s most deprived communities. She said: “I'd like to say on behalf of the foodbank that Allied Bakeries have been a godsend during COVID-19 with ample supplies of fresh bread. It's been lovely to be able to supply our service users with a real staple item in their food parcel. It's been particularly appreciated with so many children off school and extra pressure on families to keep the hunger at bay during lock down, so we have been uber grateful for these amazing donations.”
The Trussel Trust’s Stockport Foodbank, which runs seven foodbanks across Stockport, is similarly full of positive feedback. “The clients of Stockport Foodbanks are most grateful to Allied Bakery for the regular supply of bread,” said Nigel, the manager of Stockport Foodbanks. “Having fresh bread added into the 3-day food parcels has been a real bonus and surprise, and on their behalf can we thank all those who have been involved in making this most needy donation to those facing tough times. Well done Allied!”
The Allied Bakeries loaves don’t always go directly to organisations; some residents choose to collect bread for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours. Inge Challinor, a Neighbourhood Inclusion Manager at Stockport Council, has been involved with coordinating the deliveries of the donated bread to both organisations and individual residents. She described an example of someone looking out for their elderly neighbours: “One resident asked for bread for her street with older residents. Being able to provide bread enabled her to contact them once a week and have conversations. I suggested she look out for anyone who might appreciate additional help. We arranged for Age UK to do welfare checks and they identified 5 residents to be referred for extra support, such as regular hot meal provision."
Inge described the new links that have been made between the council and the community, and with communities themselves, due to Allied Bakeries’ bread donations. “It has led to raised awareness of vulnerable residents, referrals to other services, and increased our knowledge of groups that we have not been in contact with before. Residents have started engaging with each other on a social level, and in some cases we have linked them in with food parcels,” she said. “On one occasion we delivered bread to a married couple who asked us for help as they didn’t know how to access the food parcels. We referred them through to the council’s coronavirus helpline.”
Feedback about the loaves of bread donated across Stockport by Allied Bakeries has been overwhelmingly positive, with many residents enjoying how fresh the bread is. One recipient of the Allied Bakeries bread was grateful for the donation which has allowed them to feed themselves more comfortably at home. They said: “I live on my own. I don’t tend to cook very often. Because of health issues at times I can’t stand and peel vegetables, so I will have a sandwich. I love crisp butties!”
This partnership between Allied Bakeries, the council, community groups and residents across Stockport is a brilliant example of people pulling together during a time of crisis – the true Stockport spirit.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to buy food and is in need of support, please contact our dedicated helpline on 0161 217 6046 where a team of call handlers will provide the appropriate referral to a network of support organisations including food banks. For other ways to get in contact and for more information, including opening times of the helpline, visit our webpages.