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Lidl steps in to help stock food banks

HELPING HAND: Michele Lawrence (right), manager of a food bank in Brent helps a user with her goods

LIDL HAS become the second UK supermarket to regularly gift food and drink to social media website Neighbourly, who will distribute supplies to food banks up and down the UK via its Neighbourly Food project.

The website offers an online search facility for those who want to look-up their closest food bank.

#FundAFridge is the hash tag used to anchor posts about a sister project also funded by Lidl, which equips food banks with fridges and cold storage free of charge.

Beyond their work with food banks, Neighbourly has won awards for connecting communities in need of funds and resources for their individual needs or their own initiatives. A range of charities and corporates, including the Brixton Soup Kitchen, are matched with the website's users through a search function which allows people and grassroots groups to outline what they are seeking.

As well as their recent work with Lidl, Neighbourly enlisted Marks & Spencer in 2015 to aid their campaign to stop seven million tonnes of food being thrown away by supermarkets and families each year and divert that food to anti-poverty charities. In contrast to this massive amount of wastage, over 690 tonnes of food have been donated via the project.

“We are very pleased to welcome Lidl to our food surplus donation programme alongside M&S,” says Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly.

“Both organisations are fully committed to building meaningful relationships with their communities, and using Neighbourly means that those most in need do not face the additional pressure of having to pay to have food surplus donations delivered."

Adam Doncaster, a volunteer at Central Community Centre in Scunthorpe commented:

“The initiative is having a great effect on our canteen.

“It is helping us with ingredients, so we are saving money on purchasing. We are so grateful and have put a sign up in the centre ensuring that people are aware of the input Lidl is having on their community centre.”

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