£19,000 donation to local food charities from The Cumberland

Published on 29 July 2020

A charity supplying vital food to people in need is receiving a £19,000 boost thanks to customers of The Cumberland.

The money is being donated to FareShare, a charity which distributes surplus food to frontline organisations such as food banks, which has been supported by Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford in recent months.

The building society is giving the money to FareShare as part of its Pledge for Votes scheme which sees £1 for every vote cast at the Annual General Meeting, given to charity.

Fewer votes were received this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic with Cumberland branches unable to process votes. Despite this, significantly more of its customers chose to vote online, resulting in them receiving over 11,800 votes in total. As a result, The Cumberland has more than matched the donation it gave to Barnados last year to ensure FareShare didn’t miss out due to the coronavirus.

The money will provide a welcome boost to the charity which has seen a surge in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alasdair Jackson who helps to run FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria said the charity has delivered the equivalent of 785,000 meals during the first 12 weeks of the crisis, including 268,000 in Cumbria alone.

“This issue of food poverty isn’t going to go away, and as more and more people will unfortunately end up unemployed at the end of this, I think we will see an even bigger increase in demand,” he said.

Surplus food from sources such as supermarkets and food manufacturers is collected at FareShare warehouses and then distributed to charities and community groups such as food banks, community centres, women’s refuges, lunch clubs and school breakfast clubs.

Alasdair added: “We are not for profit. We simply exist to help people. The money from The Cumberland will enable us to get that food and take it to where it needs to go.”

The Cumberland’s Pledge for Votes funding is being shared between the two regional branches - FareShare Glasgow and West of Scotland and FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria.

Richard Ellison, Chief Financial Officer at The Cumberland, said: “The pandemic has meant we have had less people in our branches to see reminders about this scheme, but our customers have still responded in their thousands by casting their votes and helping FareShare.

“We would normally have people casting their votes at branches, but it’s great to see how many people made the effort to go online or vote by post.

“They will be making a big difference to the lives of many people who are struggling right now.”