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How food manufacturers can help thousands of people with one Christmas gift
Company Shop Group

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How food manufacturers can help thousands of people with one Christmas gift

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The rise in energy costs and soaring inflation are putting huge pressure on families this Christmas, with many cutting back on presents and food. While food manufacturers also face challenges, partnering with Community Shop can help them enhance their CSR by diverting any waste to those who are in most need.

In the run-up to the Christmas period, many businesses are looking at how they can give back and ensure they deliver a significant social impact. This year, it feels more important than ever that the investment is made in the right places, as thousands of people face difficult choices between eating and heating.

A YouGov survey in October1​ revealed that 60% of Britons expect to spend less on Christmas this year, because of the rising cost of living, and only 28% expect to have a normal Christmas. Survey respondents also revealed that they will cut back on gatherings such as meals with friends, family and colleagues (34%) and, of the 60% who plan to spend less on Christmas, 86% will spend less on presents and 57% will spend less on food.

In local communities, many people are telling the story of not being able to put Christmas dinner – a traditional family staple – on the table, while school holidays are an added pressure, as families in receipt of free school meals are unable to benefit from that provision over the Christmas break. When you factor in that families are trying to make Christmas as special as ever, it can make for a heart-breaking story.

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Many food and drink organisations are keen to do everything they can to help out – it’s often just a case of identifying where their impact can be most immediate and reach the people most in need of it. Community Shop – a social enterprise run by Company Shop Group – is able to make a difference in the areas that need it most. But it only happens with the help of those organisations pondering on where and how to give back.

For food manufacturers, partnering with Community Shop is simple; there are no requests for cash donations, nor any need for valuable people time. Through redistributing surplus stock, the Group can make an amazing impact. In the business’ Community Shop stores, members can take away the worry of food insecurity by being able to put surplus products in their baskets at a fraction of the usual price, while enjoying a typical shopping experience that maintains dignity and choice.

Powering change for families across the country is as simple as donating surplus stock – rather than letting it go to waste. Get in touch now​ to donate yours.

However, the benefits extend far further. All the funds from the Community Store are invested in its two unique additional spaces: Community Kitchen and Community Hub. And, while operating all year round, it’s Christmas time where these make even more of an impact.

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This year, in its Community Kitchens, the company will serve hundreds of Christmas lunches – possibly the only Christmas lunch some will see – to adults and children alike. It will also hand out presents, have visits from Santa and celebrate as a community.

The Community Kitchens will also host an Elf Breakfast – a fun, but critically important, way of ensuring children in the community continue to have access to meals during the school holidays, while learning the basics of food preparation and nutrition.

And, all the while, its mentors in the Community Hubs work with our members on life-changing development programmes that inspire people to be the best they can be, developing confidence, improving financial acumen, helping those that can get back into work, and improving overall physical and mental wellbeing. All of this makes for crucial support, at a key time.

Saving wasted products to benefit those in need

However, none of this is possible without surplus donations from the business’ partners – pallets of products that may otherwise go to waste. Community Shop is part of Company Shop Group – the UK’s leading redistributor of surplus food and non-food products. It takes stock that can no longer be used for the purpose it was originally intended, and makes it available to its members. It could be:
● a labelling error – Company Shop Group has the ability to relabel;
● a small quality control failure – too many tomatoes in tomato soup for example, which the organisation can disclaim on the product;
● unfinished product – which it can package and label compliantly;
● short-dated stock – which it can take in bulk and redistribute quickly;
● products with foreign labels – meant for distribution abroad but which are no longer able to get there.

With its 50 years of experience and technical capabilities, Company Shop Group is trusted by all the major supermarkets, manufacturers and brands to handle products across all categories and for all types of reasons – it handled 98 million products last year alone – putting brand protection at the heart of everything it does. The company has permission to redistribute supermarket own-label products in their original packaging and has full traceability of where products go through its closed group membership model.

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Community Shops change lives. They provide a hand-up, not a hand-out. They are already supported by fantastic donations from the Group’s existing supporters like Ocado, Nestlé, Warburtons, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Samworth Brothers, Tesco and many more. To find out more about what Company Shop Group partners say and how it operates, as well as the amazing difference Community Shop makes, please read its latest Corporate Surplus Responsibility Report here​.

A final word

Company Shop Group also recognises that times are tough for businesses, too, and that donations aren’t always possible. It also purchases surplus stock to support a food or drink business in making a tangible impact on the bottom line and returning some value to stock that was originally intended to generate a financial return. Again, the Group would be delighted to talk to you about how it can support your business with this too, so that these perfectly good products don’t go to waste and instead generate value across the food & drink supply chain. If your business is already a supporter, Company Shop Group thanks you for the immense impact you’re already making. If you’ve not yet spoken to the Group, please get in touch and help to make an even bigger impact this Christmas and in the forthcoming year, so that people who really need help can receive it.

Please call 0800 211 8484 or email fhecyhf@pbzcnalfubctebhc.pb.hx​ to talk about how your business can pledge support.