Louise Crowe: Our Southend store takes the stage in Channel 4’s Friday Night Feast with Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty

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Excitement is building at our Southend store as it plays a starring role in tonight’s Friday Night Feast, aired at 8pm on 3 February.

When Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty got in touch with us last summer asking for support with their latest community project as part of their Channel 4 series, we jumped at the chance. The pair have launched a Community Fridge initiative in the seaside town in partnership with four local charities – TrustLinks, Trinity Family Centre, Southend YMCA and Storehouse – helping to provide food to those who need it most.  

The four fridges, placed across the town, are being regularly stocked with unsold food, donated by Sainsbury’s stores in the area.  We’re also encouraging residents and other local businesses to drop food off to one of the sites. People from the local area who need help feeding their families are then able to access the food in the fridges via one of the four charities.

The addition of the Community Fridges means more fresh food such as fruit and vegetables and fresh dairy products can be accessed by those who need it most. We’ve also helped set up similar projects in other parts of the country, including a successful Community Fridge in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire. The scheme launched earlier this year as part of our five year commitment to reduce household waste through our £10 Million ‘Waste less, Save more’ campaign.

Gemma Atkinson and Maria Campbell, who both work at our Southend store, were the first to donate to the fridge at TrustLinks and found out how the scheme will support their local community. We were thrilled to hear that other businesses and residents in Southend also got on board and helped the charities by dropping off their surplus food at one of the four fridges.

We’re really proud to be given the opportunity to support Jamie and Jimmy’s Community Fridge project in Southend as it will play a vital role in helping to provide fresh food within the community. Food donation is a huge priority for us, and we now donate to over 2,000 charities through similar schemes.

If you’d like to get involved and donate food to a local charity – then just look out for the orange Food Donation points in selected stores.

Lousie Crowe, Community Affairs Executive