"The foodbanks are doing an outstanding job in campaigning to raise awareness of the issues and the need for support."
Ross Oakley of RWO
A Leeds firm of civil and structural engineers is donating its Christmas party budget to support a local foodbank.
RWO is sharing the £1,500 it would be putting aside for its 15 staff to have a festive bash with the Leeds North and West Foodbank.
The kind-hearted donation comes as the company, which is based at offices in Park Place, recognises the difficulties many people will be facing this Christmas and winter, which will be particularly hard for those struggling to cope with the added burden of Covid.
In the period from April 2019 to the end of March 2020 more than 41,000 people in Leeds used a foodbank, which was an increase of 23% from the previous 12-month period, according to Leeds Community Foundation.
This festive season, the number of people visiting foodbanks is expected to be significantly higher and Leeds North and West Foodbank, which receives referrals daily, says December is its busiest month.
So across the city, thousands of emergency food parcels are being collected and distributed to help those in crisis in the coming weeks. Indeed, the Trussell Trust anticipates foodbanks in its network will give out an emergency food parcel every nine seconds.
Ross Oakley, managing director of RWO, said: “It’s great to see everyone in the company support this initiative and I have received some very encouraging comments from our colleagues.
“The foodbanks are doing an outstanding job in campaigning to raise awareness of the issues and the need for support. By donating, we are delighted to be helping local people who are less fortunate than us, not just during winter but also in this awful pandemic.”
Tricia Ryder, distribution centre manager at Leeds North and West Foodbank in Burley Hill, said: “Thanks to the support of local companies and their kind generosity, we can help people in crisis this Christmas while working towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials. Thank you very much.”