Carrs Foods’ relationship with Recycling Lives began in August 2017 when a group of us were invited to visit their headquarters in Preston. During our visit, we saw the Food Distribution Centre which is a partnership with the Fareshare national charity. This provides fresh, in-date food to groups such as children’s breakfast clubs, homeless shelters and day centres. We were also taken on a tour of the Recycling Lives residential centre which gives homeless and vulnerable people a 6-stage programme of training, work experience and support.
What particularly impressed us was that Recycling Lives is all about empowering people. The Food Distribution Centre targets social groups that will teach people how to cook and serve meals. These meals are eaten together and this helps to build new social relationships, hence combatting loneliness. Food isn’t just seen as fuel to be handed out. It’s a common thread that can draw communities together. A Key Performance Indicator for Recycling Lives is the number of meals served (531,283 in 2016), not the number of boxes of food handed out.
Being a supplier of ambient bakery products, Carrs Foods saw a natural opportunity to support this organisation. In August, we had nearly 300 cases of chocolate croissants that had incorrectly printed packaging and in September we donated a further 800 cases of products including surplus Baker Street loaves and burger buns, plus various cakes.
We very much look forward to continuing to support Recycling Lives as they are a fantastic example of a private enterprise giving back to the local community.