How our Food on Campus teams are supporting a local food bank and our homeless community

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:24:00 BST

When our University closed down all but essential services due to the ongoing COVID-19 pamdemic, our Food on Campus team moved quickly and decisively to help a local foodbank and the homeless community during these uniquely difficult times.

Almost immediately, a group of volunteers cleaned and sanitised the team’s vans and fridges and shared the leftover food between our halls of residences catering team, who were still working to look after our students, and the foodbank, while the sandwiches were taken to a homeless charity.

The team already had a process in place to deliver food on a daily basis to Fareshare, in Openshaw, and refuges in Fallowfield and Plymouth Grove, so they were happy to “knock on their door” as always.

“We’re a strong team anyway – we’ll come out of this even stronger,” explains Jonathan Minshull, General Manager of Hospitality Services. The whole team rallied round with the first priority ensuring that all kitchen and operational areas were cleaned and made safe. The food collection took a full day across all the areas. The food was sorted and distributed into piles ready for allocation. The Catered Residences team came over to reallocate their share. They have a duty of care to ensure our large number of international students, who are struggling to travel, are still fed.

“The remainder of the food – milk, bread, potatoes, fruit and vegetables – was then delivered to FareShare. All the sandwiches were collected by a chef in residences who has direct contact with homeless charities in Manchester, and these were distributed on the day of collection. Everyone was extremely grateful for the delivery and we were pleased that we could help them and ensure that no food went to waste. It was a great team effort from the Retail, Hospitality and Residences teams.”