Cool move by The Cumberland to help food projects

Published on
31 August 2023

Food banks and food-related FareShare projects across Cumbria and Lancashire will be able to broaden their range thanks to kind-hearted Cumberland customers who have helped provide funds for new fridges, freezers and chiller cabinets.

It's part of The Cumberland’s commitment to kinder banking and totals £18,278 of investment raised by members voting at the society’s annual general meeting. Every vote generated £2 for the fund.

The donation is on top of the £250,000 pledge the society made to FareShare Lancashire & Cumberland through its Kinder Kind of Kitchens initiative to help combat food poverty.

One of the projects receiving a fridge is Workington Derwent Food Pantry who have run a food pantry in the town for five years.

Ian Chambers from the group said: “This donation from The Cumberland is amazing. They have given FareShare incredible financial help. There is a steady demand for the food bank’s services in Workington and this will enable us to give even more assistance to families and individuals who need it in the Salterbeck area.

“There’s a misconception that you have to be referred to our food bank but that isn’t the case. Just come and see us if you need us. We worry that some people are too proud or infirm to reach out for help so if you know somebody who is struggling, please tell them about FareShare.”

The pantry operates from the British Legion Club in the town centre on the first Friday of each month and at the Oval Centre in Salterbeck every third Friday, and gets food through FareShare which is donated by the major supermarkets.

But some of these weekly deliveries contain fruit, vegetables and chilled items like butters and spreads, which will spoil quickly if not stored carefully. That’s why the Cumberland has funded a fridge for the team at the Oval Centre and other projects so they can help even more families.

Members of the Salterbeck Tenants and Residents Association work with the Rotary volunteers to manage the food bank.

FareShare aims to address both the issue of food poverty and the fact that large quantities of food are going to waste in this country by getting that surplus food to the people who need it.

Victoria Rose, The Cumberland’s cluster manager for west Cumbria and her colleague, customer advisor Alison Preshaw, visited the Oval Centre on Friday to give a helping hand with unloading the food. Victoria said: “I’m proud that the Cumberland is taking action to help our communities. As a result of the cost of living crisis, more people in Cumbria are being driven towards food poverty.

“It is humbling to come here today and see the people queuing up to use the food bank. The quality of the produce is good to see and it’s impressive how kind everyone is.” said Victoria, adding that her colleagues would be volunteering to help the project again in the future.

Among those making use of the food bank was Peter Thompson who had to give up work after 37 years in the building trade when he developed Parkinson’s disease. “This is like a lifeline for me,” he said.

To learn more about how The Cumberland supports communities, please click here.