How are big brands giving back?
These are, as you probably hear it said five times a day, difficult times. But as hard as it is for everyone right now, it cannot be denied that these times are more difficult for some than they are for others, whether that be the people who are working long hours to fight the virus, people who’ve suddenly found themselves without jobs or job prospects, people who are don’t have a home of their own to stay in at the moment, or elderly people who are stuck alone with no visits from their family to look forward to. But luckily there are some brands out there who have chosen to give back to the communities they operate in and are trying to make these times just a little easier. So in today’s blogpost we will be putting a spotlight on such brands.
This one’s no secret – many supermarkets around the UK have organised special opening hours for NHS workers and elderly or vulnerable customers to get a chance to buy the food they need without putting themselves at unnecessary risk. Such supermarkets include Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, as well as others. This is, of course, a highly useful way to support communities. For NHS workers, having a dedicated timeslot to ensure they get their groceries is vital, as they work long shifts and can’t just pop to the shop whenever they realise they’re out of milk. Meanwhile, for the elderly and vulnerable, going to the shop can be daunting, and not everyone has someone who can go for them. Supermarkets’ measures to ensure everyone is able to get what they need is crucial to keeping us all going.
Food insecurity is a big concern for many people in the UK even without the added pressure of a pandemic, but it is even scarier right now. Foodbanks are a vital force in helping to alleviate food insecurity, and in an open letter on the McDonald’s website, CEO Paul Pomroy wrote that McDonald’s has distributed 400 tonnes of food to charities and foodbanks around the UK, with plans to continue doing so as they begin to reopen this month. Whatever your thoughts about the fast-food giant, this is surely a valuable contribution to local communities in a tricky time.
LEON (McDonald’s healthy fast food counterpart) has also been working on feeding those who need it, though their focus has been critical care workers, to whom they directly provide hot meals to help them take care of their own health while they work so tirelessly to help the health of everyone in the nation. CEO of LEON, John Vincent, wrote an update on the brand’s website providing the details of Feed NHS, which raises funds to cover the costs of feeding NHS workers; at the time the update was written, they had raised over £600,000.
The Body Shop
Another brand looking to make life a little less stressful for the overworked NHS staff right now is The Body Shop, who has donated over 400,000 products to NHS workers in the UK, as well as donating products to the Asylum Seeker Resource in Australia and to hostels and refuges in North America.
The brand announced it would be making and donating 25 million soap bars to global agencies, as well as donating $20 million in health and hygiene products to community based organisations.
The John Lewis Partnership made donations of £75,000 to Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust in March, as well as donating essential items to care homes and vulnerable people.
Of course, these are all pretty big brands. Undoubtedly, there are many small shops and cafes in your local areas making a huge effort too, and we strongly encourage you to find out what your local brands are up to at this time, and support them best in any way you can. We all need to work together right now!