JCB's 'Food for our Communities' initiative today served up a major milestone as the 10,000th meal was despatched from the company's kitchens for those in need in Staffordshire.
Since the launch of the scheme - the idea of Carole Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford - catering staff at the World HQ in Rocester have been busily preparing cottage pies, macaroni cheese and bolognese dishes for disadvantaged families and individuals across the region during the Coronavirus crisis.
Today the 10,000th meal was cooked and despatched from the JCB kitchen – just a month after the initiative started. So far, the team has used around two tonnes of potatoes, more than one tonne of minced beef and almost half a tonne of both pasta and onions to prepare the dishes.
In India - where JCB has factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur - the scale of the initiative is even greater and staff there have now prepared a staggering 100,000 meals.
Carole Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, said: "I'm very proud of all the work the teams in the UK and India are undertaking. Their efforts are making a real difference to the lives of so many people in our communities."
Thousands of the meals made in Staffordshire are being distributed across Stoke-on-Trent by the Burslem-based Hubb Foundation, to children and families in need across the city.
Founder Carol Shanahan said: "You cannot underestimate the impact the JCB 'Food for our Communities' initiative is having on families in our city. Those receiving the food are just so very grateful that companies like JCB are stepping in to help at this time. It's simply amazing."
Since launch, the project has been expanded to include sandwiches and so far, more than 2,000 have been made for distribution to the homeless in Stoke-on-Trent and for inclusion in food parcels for vulnerable people in the Uttoxeter area. JCB is also supplying St. Michael's Church Support Group in Rocester with 100 meals a week for villagers who are in need.
JCB Chef Alastair Rowe said: "It is very rewarding for the whole team to be involved in this project. We have had some wonderful feedback which shows our communities really do appreciate what JCB is doing at this time."
As well as providing thousands of meals, JCB has also donated vital PPE to front line workers and JCB and its employees have volunteered to produce facemasks for the NHS. Inspired by these efforts, JCB-sponsored athletes, slalom canoeist Adam Burgess and triple jumper Ben Williams, took on a marathon weight lifting challenge and have so far raised more than £2,400 for the Royal Stoke Hospital.
JCB's kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. Daylesford - founded by Carole Bamford - has supplied 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 Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing JCB meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.