You can (food) bank on BRI!
3 November 2016: BRI Business Recovery Insolvency specialise in offering assistance to individuals and companies in financial difficulty so their support of a local charity followed a similar theme. This year we offered our support to the Spencer Bridge Food Bank, a few hundred yards from BRI’s Head Office in St James, Northampton – a wonderful charity of whom you can find out more via the following link – (spencerbridge.foodbank.org.uk).
The day started with unloading crates of greatly welcomed donations, a bumper harvest we were informed, following assistance of local primary schools, before weighing and stacking the crates in the stock room. The next job was to ‘date’ all of the items donated and begin stacking the shelves of the food store. If you have ever wondered how many insolvency professionals it takes to do this the number is 11.
If you can picture Arkwright’s store from Open All Hours, only in a basement and crowded determined insolvency staff, then this is the picture that would have greeted you in the food store at Elm Church. ‘Dating’ the items essentially involves reading the sell by date and then writing that out again with a marker pen on the packaging, only in much larger numbers; a task that proved worryingly difficult for some at times. Dated items were then placed back in crates, only in categorised fashion, ready for stacking on the shelves.
The shelf stacking was possibly the most sophisticated and arduous process of the day, shelving was pre-labelled in order of food items and then divided by dates, with a useful ‘use me!’ shelf for those items with only a few months left. As one can imagine, certain items are much more common than others with soup, pasta, baked beans and especially cereal which required more shelf space than most. This proved something of a challenge but with hard work and determination meant all donated items had been dated, sorted and shelved by lunch time.
Following a gruelling morning all BRI team members, who normally only ever get to their feet to put the kettle on, came blinking into the light of the upstairs break room of Elm Church. With packed lunches consumed and energy levels restored, an afternoon of preparing food parcels was planned.
The afternoon didn’t quite go as planned but in a nice way as there was a relatively minimal number of individuals who arrived with food orders on the day. BRI’s volunteers therefore mainly busied themselves with restacking crates, which in turn were reloaded onto the van.
All in all, for those involved it was a very fulfilling experience to be able to offer help to the food bank, who in turn were very appreciative of the efforts of the volunteers. It was heart-warming to see the dedication and enthusiasm of those food bank volunteers who give up their time week in and week out in order to help other people. The food bank provides a vital service to those who need it most and we would encourage anyone who is able to offer them your support via food parcels at a difficult time.