Over 100 Sodexo employees took part in Stop Hunger's winter volunteering activities supporting a number of our charity partners. Find out how Ufuoma Uwegba, Sodexo corporate responsibility coordinator, found her volunteering experience and how you can continue to help.
Ufuoma Uwegba, Sodexo corporate responsibility coordinator:
"This winter Sodexo offered several volunteering opportunities with our corporate charity partners to help fight hunger and malnutrition in the UK and Ireland, where over 8 million people are struggling to feed themselves. The opportunities involved supporting FareShare and Trussell Trust in their Tesco food collection and helping other charities such as Sufra NW, a community foodbank and kitchen, to wrap presents and cook meals for those in need. Volunteering provides a crucial resource to all our charities, without which many could not function, so I was eager to help! Therefore, I took advantage of Sodexo’s three days paid volunteering to help our charity partners reach those most in need in society.
"Signing up to volunteer was easy, Sodexo’s new partnership with Neighbourly, a volunteering platform that connects local projects with people and organisations who want to help, allowed me to efficiently sign up my colleague and I to a Trussell Trust Tesco food collection. Once I signed up Trussell Trust was notified I would be volunteering on that date. The Neighbourly platform also hosted many other opportunities that colleagues could sign up to within their local area.
"I volunteered on the 30 November with the Norwood and Brixton Trussell Trust foodbank in Streatham Extra, as part of Trussell Trust’s nationwide Tesco food collection which ran from 29 November to 1 December 2018. Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 foodbanks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line.
"I started my volunteering with a brief induction from a Trussell Trust representative explaining the aim of the food collection and what I was required to do. I welcomed customers and distributed the ‘food lists’ required and made customers aware of the drop off point. I also explained why Trussell Trust were at Tesco and was pleased to see many customers donating generously and keen to find out more about the local Trussell Trust foodbank and how they could help. My colleague and I also had a conversation with a customer where we spoke about the importance of continued work with supermarkets and local communities.
"Alongside the great partnership with Tesco, FareShare and Trussell Trust, we also spoke about the simple but highly effective initiative from a group of young people from the National Citizen Service.The young people spoke to their local foodbank, who expressed not receiving key items for the people they help, so these students came up with a simple idea to put stickers next to ‘priority items’ so shoppers could buy and drop them off at the collection point in their local Sainsburys. This great idea led to donations tripling for the local foodbank prompting it to be rolled out nationwide in Sainsburys.
"The day was a great success with the volunteers and I collecting several trays of food which was brilliant! With all this amazing food, our charity partners now require further help to sort and deliver this to people in need. So, if you did not get a chance to volunteer last year. Trussell Trust and FareShare need your help. I encourage you to please get involved and if you are a Sodexo employee visit https://www.your-sodexo.com/my-community/stop-hunger/ to find out more!"