M&S partners with Milton Keynes hospital to provide free sandwiches for hard-working Intensive Care Unit staff

M&S Milton Keynes has partnered with Milton Keynes Hospital Charity to provide 50 sandwiches a week for staff working in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit during the Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 2:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:32 pm

Vanessa Holmes, head of charity at Milton Keynes University Hospital said: “We’re really grateful for the support from the team at M&S Milton Keynes and the donation of sandwiches to our ITU teams on a weekly basis. To have a nutritious and tasty ‘grab and go’ option for staff is just wonderful. The support we continue to receive from the whole community during this time has been amazing and means a great deal to our colleagues.”

The partnership is aligned with M&S’s food redistribution programme which has seen M&S stores in Milton Keynes donating more than 70,000 meals through partnerships with local causes since the retailer’s food redistribution programme began in 2015, including Meeting Needs, Esther Community Enterprise and Two Mile Ash Pre-School.

Since March last year, more than 36,000 meals have been donated, helping to support vulnerable people in the local area as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

ITU staff are loving the sandwiches

Lindsey Cuthbertson, Store Manager at M&S Central Milton Keynes said, “We’re proud of the role we play in our local community and we’re continuing to contribute where we can. Through the Olney Covid Support Group the store team has been delighted to be able to provide additional support to the ITU teams at Milton Keynes University Hospital through the supply of fresh sandwiches each week for some of our NHS heroes working on the frontline.”

Whilst the food redistribution programme has been going since 2015, the 2020 rollout of a new app which makes it easier for colleagues to donate surplus food to charities has allowed M&S to respond to the increased demand for donations from groups who are helping vulnerable people through difficult times during the pandemic. The app is now in all 585 M&S stores, enabling many of them to more than double their food redistribution rates. Across the UK, donations since March 1st have now surpassed the 11 million mark.

M&S is always looking for new partners to work with. Local charity and community groups who would like to get involved in the food surplus programme or other charity initiatives are encouraged to email [email protected] to find out more.

M&S food distribution scheme was launched in 2015 and has supported more than 2,100 local causes nationwide, from food banks to youth clubs and hospices, donating over 22 million meals to those in need.

An app records when M&S colleagues reduce food that is close to its Use-Biy or Best Before date, and then monitors if those products are sold at the tills. The app automatically notifies charity partners of anything unsold at the end of the day that can be collected from their local store.

The technology also allows stores to donate products where the packaging is damaged, but the food inside is safe and good quality. The new app, which sends alerts via email and SMS, will significantly increase the notifications reaching the charities in a bid to increase the redistribution of surplus food and prevent food waste.