Aberdeen-based marketing and communications consultancy Innes Associates has donated a second batch of free food to local food bank Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), proving that giving to charity does not always need to cost money.
Staff at the firm have been accumulating food and toiletries they have received when purchasing a copy of the Evening Express or Press and Journal from Aberdeen Journal’s roadshow events in Aberdeen’s Trinity Centre. The items were being given away free to readers as part of a promotion run by the papers.
The idea of donating the free items to charity was sown in the minds of the Innes Associates team after being struck by a 12-year-old schoolgirl’s generosity last year. The youngster had saved up toys she had won at Codona’s and donated them to the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas gift appeal.
This latest batch of food and toiletries totalled 56 items, with an estimated retail value of over £60. A further £10 of tinned and dried food was also donated to the charity which was purchased from loose change collected in a tin in the firm’s office.
Earlier in the year, staff handed in 27 free items with a combined value of £35 to CFINE’s premises on Poynernook Road along with 21kg of additional food purchased by the team. These free items had been collected in the same way.
Along with donating items to the food bank, Innes Associates has also handed out some of the food to homeless people and donated Easter Eggs to local children’s egg appeals.
Foodbanks across Britain have been experiencing unprecedented demand in recent years. CFINE is the lead partner of the Food Banks Partnership Aberdeen, which comprises 37 partner community and voluntary organisations in the city. The Aberdeen foodbanks put out a call earlier this year which local residents got behind. Donations are constantly required, meaning this latest donation was well received.
In 2014, the partnership distributed over 13,000 emergency food parcels across Aberdeen, with CFINE itself handing out over 3,300 of them. This year, CFINE has dispensed, on average, around 750 emergency food parcels every month and as temperature begins to fall it is once again witnessing an increase in demand. The charity estimates that over the course of the year it will hand out nearly £160,000 worth of food and toiletries.
Ian McLaren, Innes Associates’ PR account manager, said: “We were all struck by the generosity shown last year by a 12-year-old girl who donated gifts she won to the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal. It got us thinking about the things we could do that could have a similar impact and this is the result.
“In its simplest form it was about not being greedy. Instead passing on the goodwill shown to us, to those in need. It shows that donating to charity can at times cost nothing.”
Fiona Rae, deputy chief executive, CFINE, said: “This was a great initiative run by the team at Innes Associates. All of the food and toiletries that have been donated to CFINE are a huge benefit. Regardless of the time of year, we experience strong demand for food parcels. Every donation is greatly appreciated, particularly as we approach a time of year when additional pressures are put on our finances.”