Delivery van pick-ups to help food banks

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Radical new idea to help Britain’s needy

Donations to food banks could be make easier through a scheme using spare capacity on delivery vans, as well as regular kerb-side collections by refuse lorries.

That’s the view of a leading British waste management and recycling company which says that the vast majority of people who don’t give to food banks because they find it inconvenient.

According to the BusinessWaste.co.uk company, over two-thirds of households would consider giving food to the needy if it were collected either from their home or from a secure central point on a regular basis.

“Who has time to take a donation to a food bank?” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “Everybody’s got time to leave something out to be collected from their home, though.”

“The sad truth is that many people don’t even leave food at supermarket deposit points because they’re located after the till, and most customers are more focused on getting home at that point,” he says. “Home collections are the way ahead, and local councils should get on board.”

BusinessWaste.co.uk asked hundreds (1265) of customers about their willingness to give donations to food banks, and found that:

– 90% said that there was a need for food banks, and they supported the idea
– 68% said they would make a donation if it was made effort-free
– 67% said they would make a donation if it was collected from their home or a convenient location
– 20% said they would rather give cash to enable charities to make more meaningful purchases

The problem is that there’s a lack of coordination in collecting for food banks, BusinessWaste.co.uk says, and this means fewer people make donations.

“And the huge irony is that families often buy far more than they need, and thousands of tons of food go to waste every year in the UK,” says Hall.

– Official figures show that nearly one-third of food production is wasted every year, while families cannot afford to feed themselves.

That’s why people have told BusinessWaste.co.uk they’d support collection service where donations could be handed to a supermarket home shopping driver or other official representative. Such a scheme would give families time to plan their donations, and make sensible purchases accordingly.

BusinessWaste.co.uk also suggests regular weekly or fortnightly pick-ups from front-door steps as part of regular recycling collections.

“It’s a no-brainer,” says Hall, “Double up a fortnightly card, tin and glass recycling route with a food bank collection team, and the donations will roll in.”

While there are obvious resource and cost implications to such a scheme at a time when local authorities are dealing with tighter budgets, BusinessWaste.co.uk says that should not be a red line.

“It’s something that combines communities, businesses, charities and local groups, bringing everybody together for a common good,” the BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson says. “Sponsorship would help offset the cost, meaning that council budgets would be protected.”

BusinessWaste.co.uk says that the British food crisis is real for many families, and it’s time to remove the stigma of accepting food from food banks, as well as making donating to the needy a part of everyday life.

“At a time when our society is disintegrating into ‘us and them’, we should all be pulling in the same direction to help the most vulnerable,” says Hall.

“It’s not political, it’s reality.”

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