Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has praised Ocado for its willingness to engage with the community after the retailer agreed to support Batley Food Bank on an ongoing basis.
Ms Brabin wrote to Ocado, which has a huge distribution warehouse in Birstall and employs over 400 people, after discovering they did not have an arrangement with the local food bank.
In response, the retailer agreed to support the food bank with surplus stock from an existing relationship with a charitable partner.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “I am delighted that Ocado has agreed to support Batley Food Bank at a time when people need the lifeline service they provide more than ever.
“Sadly, demand is at a record high so this new arrangement is timely and very welcome.
“I’d like to praise Ocado for their willingness to support such an important local cause and, of course, thank Batley Food Bank and its network of volunteers for their invaluable contribution to our community.
“I look forward to working closely with both parties to ensure this new relationship is of real benefit to those who need it the most.”
The surplus food from Ocado’s warehouse currently goes to the charitable Real Junk Food Project in Leeds – a partnership that will continue alongside the new arrangement.
But anything above what the Real Junk Food Project can accept will now go to Batley.
Elizabeth Stanley, a volunteer from the food bank who met senior representatives from Ocado with Ms Brabin to finalise the new arrangement, said: “We are so grateful for Tracy’s help in organising this opportunity for us and delighted that our customers may benefit from Ocado’s charitable support in the future.
“As an important local organisation it’s really special that they’ve chosen to help a local charity and the local community. We look forward to a happy relationship.”
Demand for the food bank has doubled since this time last year, with an increasing number of people citing Universal Credit as the underlying cause.
Batley Food Bank contact details:
The food bank can be reached on 01924 474999 and can be found at Town Hall Annexe, Brunswick Street, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 5DT.
Monday 1:00 -3:00 pm
Tuesday 1:00 -3.00 pm
Wednesday 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Thursday 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Friday 1:00 – 3:00 pm