JCB’s ‘Food for our Communities’ initiative today hit a massive milestone as company chefs served up the 25,000th meal for those in need in Staffordshire.
Since the launch of the scheme – the idea of Lady Carole Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford – catering staff at the World HQ in Rocester have prepared cottage pies, macaroni cheese and bolognese dishes for disadvantaged families and individuals across the region during the Coronavirus crisis.
This week the 25,000th meal was cooked and despatched from JCB’s kitchen following the start of the initiative in March. So far, the team has used around five tonnes of potatoes, more than 2.5 tonnes of minced beef and more than a tonne of both pasta and onions to prepare the dishes.
In India – where JCB has factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur – the scale of the initiative to support local communities was even greater and more than 175,000 meals served up during the course of the project.
Lady Bamford said: "The teams in the UK and India have done an amazing job in supporting our communities during this crisis and the provision of more than 200,000 meals has made such a positive difference to so many people".
JCB chef Alastair Rowe said: “This has been an extremely rewarding initiative to have been involved in knowing that it has helped so many people in our local communities.”
Since it was launched, the project - which concludes at the end of this month - has expanded to include sandwiches and so far, around 6,000 have been made for distribution to the homeless in Stoke-on-Trent and for inclusion in food parcels for vulnerable people in the Uttoxeter area.
JCB is also supplying St. Michael’s Church Support Group in Rocester with 100 meals a week for villagers who are in need.
As well as providing thousands of meals, JCB has also donated vital PPE to front line workers and JCB and its employees have volunteered to produce visors for the NHS. Inspired by these efforts, JCB-sponsored athletes, slalom canoeist Adam Burgess and triple jumper Ben Williams, took on a marathon weight lifting challenge and have so far raised more than £2,400 for the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. Daylesford - founded by Carole Bamford - has supplied organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.
Thousands of the meals made in Staffordshire are being distributed across Stoke-on-Trent by the Burslem-based Hubb Foundation, to children and families in need across the city.
In the UK, JCB is also working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing JCB meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.