FAMILIES struggling to make ends meet are getting a helping hand to feed their children this winter thanks to a new scheme.
Sainsbury’s in Silksworth, Sunderland, has teamed up with Pallion Action Group (PAG) to provide bread and leftover food to the charity’s clients.
The deal, which started last Thursday, sees PAG community development officer Karen Wood collect the food from the store at about 7am each day and distribute it to those in most need who visit the charity.
Karen, who has worked for PAG for 10 years, said people are more grateful for the donations than “anyone can imagine”.
“These are people who are barely managing to make ends meet,” she said. “People wouldn’t believe it, but to them, a loaf of bread means a lot.
“It means they can make their children’s packed lunches, and spend a little bit of money somewhere else, like paying for gas and electricity.”
The deal will also help to provide meals, such as homemade soup and chilli, for those attending PAG’s job club every day.
Rob Fraser, PR ambassador for Sainsbury’s Silksworth, said the store was happy to help.
“All this food would be going to waste,” he said. “So if we can help by donating it, we will.
“I used to live in Pallion, and when I came back and met the people in the centre, I was shocked.
“People can hardly feed themselves, so I’m happy that they are getting some help. It’s only a few loaves of bread.”
In fact, the store is donating so much fresh produce every day that Karen struggles to fit it all in her car.
Staff are aiming to increase the help they give the charity, which will celebrate its 21st anniversary next year, by donating towards the Christmas hampers which Karen is planning to make up for its clients.
“We are thrilled that they want to help,” said Karen. “I think it’s brilliant that one of supermarkets wants to get involved in the community so much.
“They have even agreed to allow people from the job club to go into store for mock interviews to help them prepare for the real thing.
“What they are doing is making a big difference to people, and, the clients think its great because they are getting ‘posh’ bread from Sainsbury’s.”
For more information on how to donate to PAG’s Christmas hampers, tel. 514 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.