National Highways deliver foodbank move saving Bedfordshire charity £14K

Highways workers helped a food bank charity save some £14,000 when they helped it relocate to new premises including moving 1,300 crates of food.

A Bedfordshire food bank has been given a new year boost after volunteers from National Highways and its local suppliers moved the charity to a new home.

Bedford Food Bank has recently seen a 42% increase in demand, causing the charity to look for a larger location to cater for those in desperate need of food parcels.

National Highways with support from a number of their contractors working on road projects in the area stepped forward to help. Twelve volunteers and a number of vehicles were involved in transporting 1,300 food crates – which will only cover seven days of donations – to their new premises.

Despite allocating two days for the relocation, the team of volunteers completed the job in five hours.

One of National Highways’ contractors WJ South also lined the floor of the food bank’s new home free of charge.

The charity estimates that between £12,000 and £14,000 in costs has been saved by not paying for professional removers. This will allow them to redirect the money into more stock and help to improve facilities at their new base.

Project Manager for the food bank, Pete Bennett, said: “The help provided by the National Highways in lining the warehouse, and then resourcing the move itself was absolutely invaluable. What could have been a very arduous move was accomplished incredibly quickly, with no breakages! We were able to pack food parcels as planned the following day. All those involved were first class, we can’t thank you enough.”

National Highways Project Manager Dean Birch, who coordinated the volunteering on the day, said: “As an organisation we believe it’s vitally important to give back to the local communities in which we work.

“Helping the food bank with their move to new and bigger premises is exactly the type of work we are here to support. We hope the food bank staff quickly settle into their new surroundings so they can continue delivering their vital work across local communities.”

A grand opening of the new home for the Bedford Food Bank is set to take place on the 3 February, where the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire will be in attendance.

Organisations including Skanska; Morgan Sindall; FM Conway and Ringway took part in the volunteering day, and National Highways would like to acknowledge and thank all those involved.

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