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Last Updated 22nd June 2020
Posted In: Community / Charity | Company News

Support for Food bank Charity

Donation of cardboard boxes helps food collective meet rising demand

GWP Packaging has provided support to The Swindon Food Collective – Swindon’s local independent food bank – during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This has seen the donation of hundreds of cardboard boxes that are critical to the food bank’s operations.

The boxes will be used at The Food Collective’s main depot in Westlea, Swindon, to help with sorting donations, transporting food to distribution centres in the surrounding areas and enabling food to reach those in need.

They have also been branded with the Charity’s logo, replacing the old branding that was included on boxes that GWP had supplied previously to the old Swindon Foodbank (the predecessor to the Swindon Food Collective).

Cher Smith, MBE, with teh cardboard boxes GWP have donated
Cher Smith MBE, Manager of the Swindon Food Collective, with the cardboard boxes GWP have donated

The boxes GWP have supplied

GWP have manufactured and supplied more than 200 boxes for use at the charities warehouse and distribution centres.

Manufactured from a durable corrugated material, the overlapping design of the walls and integral stacking feature – developed from the winning design of competition GWP held with Swindon College students – means the boxes are robust and able to easily accommodate different weights of product.

This makes them perfect for storage and handling of the different donations that the food bank receives, as well as allowing for easy transportation to the distribution centres around the county.

Cher Smith MBE, Manager of the Swindon Food Collective, commented;

Happy customers of GWP Group

We’re delighted to have the continued, practical support of GWP at this time. The boxes make life so much easier for us when organising the various donations of food and essentials that we receive, as well as helping to transport these to our distribution centres as required.

Happy customers of GWP Group

As the cost of purchasing any boxes we need is negated by this, it means our funds can be used to ensure those most in need within our community can get the support they require. And it’s lovely to see our logo on them too!

The challenges faced by Swindon Food Collective

The Swindon Food Collective has reported a sharp increase in residents from the surrounding areas using their services since the beginning of the virus outbreak.

With many people losing their jobs and applying for Universal Credit – which can result in a 6 week wait for support – many individuals, couples and families have had no choice to but to seek support from the charity.

Swindon food collective boxes
The new boxes include the updated branding of the charity, replacing the old Swindon Foodbank logo

This, alongside the need for volunteers to adhere to social distancing guidelines, has placed a strain on the ability to provide food parcels to the most vulnerable.

Cher added;

Happy customers of GWP Group

It has been an incredibly busy time adjusting our service to make sure our staff, volunteers and clients are all safe. This initially meant we were forced to temporarily close some of our distribution centres due to low volunteer numbers, although we have now begun to re-open these to ensure we can provide support where it is needed.

Another area where the Food Collective has helped the community is supplying food parcels for vulnerable people being discharged from hospital.

With many individuals in this category being advised to shield and remain at home, the parcels have provided breathing space whilst arrangements have been made for social care or online deliveries to be organised.

Cher Smith / Matt Dobson
Cher Smith of The Swindon Food Collective, with GWP Marketing Manager Matt Dobson

An ongoing partnership

Having worked with the Swindon Foodbank and The Food Collective for over 7 years – originally running a competition for Swindon College students to design packaging for use at the charity – GWP have continued to provide support over the subsequent years.

Foodbank fund raising
A team of GWP employees undertake the 3 Peaks challenge to raise funds for Swindon Foodbank

As well as the donation of distribution and collection boxes, this has included supplying maintenance teams to re-wire the electrics at their main warehouse and a team of employees raising over £3,000 by taking on the 3 Peaks Challenge.

This is in addition to providing an ongoing supply of cardboard boxes for handling and storage, as well as Correx® (plastic) boxes for use at donation collection points throughout Swindon.

David Mason, Sales Director at GWP said;

Happy customers of GWP Group

We have been working with the food bank in Swindon since 2013 and knew immediately that the Coronavirus situation was likely to pose logistical challenges for them.

He added;

Happy customers of GWP Group

We wanted to help in any way that we could, and the donation of the boxes will hopefully assist them in meeting the increased demand caused by the pandemic.

Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

GWP has also helped in the fight against Coronavirus in a number of other ways.

This includes supplying parts and packaging to enable the supply of protective face visors to front line health workers. This project – working alongside local engineering firm Orthotropic – has seen more than 1,000 visors manufactured and donated to care settings and health workers in both Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

This is also in addition to designing workspace barriers / screens to enable employees to begin returning to work safely, as per Government guidelines.

Ruth Cook, Managing Director of GWP, commented;

Happy customers of GWP Group

The packaging we manufacture is a critical part of the supply chain for many businesses supplying directly into critical sectors such as health, medical and food production. But we understand that there are many areas outside of this where we can make a difference too, and will look to help wherever we can.

You can also watch a brief video below on steps GWP has taken to ensure continuity of supply for our customers, many of which are part of or supply critical industries such as food, medical and pharmaceutical.

Find Out More

For further information on The Swindon Food Collective – and ways in which you can help the charity – please visit their website at www.swindonfoodcollective.org

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Matt Dobson, Marketing Manager at GWP Group

[email protected]
01793 754 444

About the Author: Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 7 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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