Sue Hodgkinson and Brian Stephenson pictured with sandwiches made for JCB's 'Food for our Communities' initiative
JCB has stepped up its food aid programme to cater for homeless people in North Staffordshire. Since the launch of the JCB 'Food for our Communities' programme - the idea of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford - the company has provided more than 3,600 cottage pies for disadvantaged people across the area.
Now JCB is expanding the initiative by adding sandwiches to the menu - making 500 every week for distribution across Stoke-on-Trent.
One of the first recipients of the sandwiches is the Brighter Futures organisation, which has co-ordinated the provision of accommodation for homeless people in hotels and hostels to enable them to safely self-isolate during the Coronavirus crisis.
The organisation is including the sandwiches in daily food parcels being distributed to homeless people in Burslem and Hanley and, according to company director Maureen Eastgate, the support is "really appreciated".
She said: "It means on a daily basis that the people who need food, are getting good quality food from a very reliable source. Without the help of JCB and others, we would be struggling, given the extra demand brought about by this crisis. What the company is doing is very much appreciated by everyone who needs the food."
The sandwiches are being lovingly prepared on behalf of JCB by partners Sue Hodgkinson and Brian Stephenson, of Oakamoor, near Cheadle, whose company Tier Solutions are the contract caterers at JCB's Global Learning facility next to the World HQ at Rocester.
Sue said: "As a contractor we very much see ourselves are part of the JCB family and as such had no hesitation offering our services to such a great project inspired by Lady Bamford."
Each week the pair are getting through 1,500 slices of bread, 11 kilos of butter, 12 kilos of ham and cheese and 25 kilos of tomatoes.
It’s all part of an initiative that started more than two weeks ago with the company's catering staff in the UK and India preparing more than 37,500 meals a week for distribution around towns and villages located close to its plants.
JCB's kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. So far, Daylesford – founded by Lady Bamford - has supplied more than half a tonne of organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.
In the UK, JCB is also working with the The Hubb Foundation in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, to distribute food to children and families, as well as Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing JCB meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.