Greater Anglia customers donate 1,600+ meals to help those in crisis this winter

Published on: Friday, 15 December 2023
Last updated: Friday, 15 December 2023

food and items donated to the Sawbridgeworth food bank

Food and items donated to the Sawbridgeworth food bank. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia passengers have donated more than 1,600 meals’ worth of food to help people in crisis this winter through foodbank collections at stations.

Customers donated a total of 684 kilograms of food and much-needed items between 9 October and 9 December at Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow Mill, Harlow Town, Sawbridgeworth, and Stansted Mountfitchet stations. An additional £457 was raised in cash donations.

Essex County Council staff based in Harlow also donated a huge variety of much-needed items to the collection, from food and toiletries to nappies and sanitary products after Laura Todd, who works as a SEND Careers Advisor, saw the appeal.

Her family and friends all helped too, including both Sawbridgeworth Fawbert and Barnard Infants School, and Reedings Junior School.

All the donations were then dropped off at Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow and Sawbridgeworth food banks on 13 December.

Colleagues Michael King and Lorraine Portnow

Colleagues Michael King and Lorraine Portnow. Credit: Greater Anglia

The initiative was organised by Greater Anglia’s Michael King, who works as a relief ticket office clerk at Sawbridgeworth and Stansted Mountfitchet.

Michael King said:

“I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has kindly donated to the foodbank appeal. It was a real team effort this year. “Our donations total 684kgs, including 1,629 meals and other helpful items to get families through winter.”

“I am always astounded by how much is donated and this year is no exception – especially with the help of Laura and her team at Essex County Council too, which helped to boost things.”

“It makes your heart swell, especially when this year has been so hard for so many people.”

The Harlow food bank is supported by the Trussell Trust.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive at the Trussell Trust said:

“Thank you to the team at Greater Anglia train company for their incredible support.

“This winter is expected to be the toughest yet, with food banks in our network distributing more than 1 million parcels between December and February which equates to one every eight seconds. Food bank teams are working tirelessly to ensure help continues to be available, but ultimately, no-one in the UK should need to turn to a food bank as all of us should have enough money for the essentials.

“The support of Greater Anglia train company will help food banks within our network continue to provide emergency support, while we work together in the long term to build a country without the need for food banks.”

The initiative began in 2022, when customers and staff donated around 1,000 meals and 500kg worth of food, toiletries, hot water bottles and blankets to foodbanks just before Christmas.