The Voice in your Community

Praise as JCB food aid initiative expands to help city’s needy



The leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council has paid tribute to JCB for helping make a “real difference” to the lives of vulnerable people with its special food aid initiative.

Councillor Abi Brown’s comments came as JCB increases its production of meals for the community and works with more local organisations to extend its delivery of the food to the most disadvantaged adults and children.

The company’s catering staff in the UK and India are preparing more than 37,500 meals a week for distribution around towns and villages located close to its plants. The initiative is the idea of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford. In the UK, staff started producing 2,000 cottage pies a week for distribution in the North Staffordshire area – and have now boosted production to 2,600.

The first meals have now been delivered to the city council with around 1,000 JCB meals a week expected for distribution to vulnerable adults and children across the city, who have asked for help during the Coronavirus pandemic through the #StokeonTrent Together initiative.

TCouncillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “People, businesses and individuals across the city have stood up and been counted in these testing times. JCB is one such organisation that we are proud to have as a business supporting Stoke-on-Trent. We are grateful to have a business of such calibre supporting the city where hundreds of its employees live and know it will make a huge difference to our most vulnerable residents that we are supporting through our #StokeonTrentTogether initiative. Our heartfelt thanks go to JCB.”

JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. So far, Daylesford – founded by Lady Bamford - has supplied more than half a tonne of organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.

The meals being prepared by JCB arrive in specially prepared containers with a message, which reads: “Lovingly prepared by JCB’s chefs for our local community.”

The scale of the operation in India is even bigger, where the Coronavirus has caused huge disruption to people’s lives. Forty-five JCB staff have been mobilised to cook more than 35,000 meals a week in the company canteens for communities around JCB’s factory locations in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur.

In the UK, JCB is also working with the The Hubb Foundation in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, to distribute food to children and families in need of support across the city and the first of the cottage pies were delivered last week.

Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit puts measures in place to support the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in an emergency. One of the partners in this, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, has been helping JCB co-ordinate the distribution of the food, ensuring meals reach front line theatre staff at the Royal Stoke Hospital and providing the link to the city council to extend distribution to more parts of Stoke-on-Trent.

Above: JCB's Jane Bullock helps prepare the cottage pies ready for delivery to the city council.