Unitas staff help with food parcels

Unitas Stoke-on-Trent Ltd?helps deliver vital food parcels amid coronavirus crisis

Unitas?Stoke-on-Trent Ltd has been helping to distribute vital food supplies to the city?s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The effort is all part of the #StokeonTrentTogether campaign, formed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and charity and voluntary sector organisation VAST.

Unitas, the council housing repairs and maintenance company, has been redeploying several employees to a hub in Fenton Manor Leisure Centre to set up and deliver the food parcels distribution service.

The company?s vans have been used to deliver over 1,247 emergency food parcels to over 600 addresses since March 27. The packages contain essentials such as bread, milk, toilet roll, pasta, fruit and tinned goods and are enough to give an individual food for a week.

Staff have been hard at work taking deliveries from local suppliers and making the emergency food parcels. Some companies which have helped include: Bookers Cash & Carry in Stoke, GK Potatoes in Cheadle, Bolton Dairies in Cobridge, Cheerful Link in Fenton, Milk 4 Life in Stoke, Raven Pharmacy in Cobridge, Roy Evans & Sons in Fenton and Brakes Food Service.

GK Potatoes supplied all the potatoes needed, even splitting the wholesale stock down to 25kg bags to make it easier to pack into food parcels.

Kim Jordan, director of GK Potatoes, said: ?We?ve been splitting the back into four so they can just pop them into the food parcels, and we?ve been delivering them to the distribution hub. It?s such a strange situation but it?s been amazing to see what can be done when people?s hearts and souls are in it.?

Cllr Joanne Powell-Beckett, Cabinet Member for Housing and Unitas board member, said: ?We wouldn?t have been able to provide all the emergency food parcels we have without the continued effort and support of local businesses and our staff. We are so thankful to everyone involved and this is a real achievement for #TeamUnitas.?

Donations can be received at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, in City Road, Fenton or Dimensions Leisure Centre, Scotia Road, Burslem between 8.30am and 4.30pm as well as to other food banks across the city. Donations of food, nappies, baby milk, baby wipes and sanitary products are particularly welcome.

The #StokeonTrentTogether initiative offers a free call phone line and website service to help residents access basic food supplies, prescription collections, gas or electricity meter top-ups, regular conversations and even dog walking.

Residents can access the #StokeonTrentTogether website here, or call 0800 5615610 seven days a week between 9am-5pm.

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