Packaging business helps Swindon Food Collective with surge in demand due to Coronavirus

By Ben Fitzgerald - 3 June 2020

CommunityBusinessCharity

Cardboard packaging firm GWP Packaging has provided support to The Swindon Food Collective – Swindon’s local independent food bank – during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Cricklade based firm has donated hundreds of cardboard boxes that are critical to the food bank’s operations. 

The boxes will be used at The Food Collective’s main depot in Westlea, Swindon, to help with sorting donations, transporting food to distribution centres in the surrounding areas and enabling food to reach those in need.

Cher Smith MBE, Manager of the Swindon Food Collective, said: “We’re delighted to have the continued, practical support of GWP at this time.

“The boxes make life so much easier for us when organising the various donations of food and essentials that we receive, as well as helping to transport these to our distribution centres as required.

“As the cost of purchasing any boxes we need is negated by this, it means our funds can be used to ensure those most in need within our community can get the support they require. And it’s lovely to see our logo on them too.”

The Swindon Food Collective has reported a sharp increase in residents from the surrounding areas using their services since the beginning of the virus outbreak. 

This, alongside the need for volunteers to adhere to social distancing guidelines, has placed a strain on the ability to provide food parcels to the most vulnerable. 

Having worked with the Swindon Foodbank and The Food Collective for over 7 years – originally running a competition for Swindon College students to design packaging for use at the charity - GWP have continued to provide support over the subsequent years. 

As well as the donation of distribution and collection boxes, this has included supplying maintenance teams to re-wire the electrics at their main warehouse and a team of employees raising over £3,000 by taking on the 3 Peaks Challenge.

David Mason, Sales Director at GWP said: “We have been working with the food bank in Swindon since 2013 and knew immediately that the Coronavirus situation was likely to pose logistical challenges for them.

“We wanted to help in any way that we could, and the donation of the boxes will hopefully assist them in meeting the increased demand caused by the pandemic.”

GWP has also helped in the fight against Coronavirus by supplying parts and packaging to enable the supply of protective face visors to front line health workers, working alongside local engineering firm Orthotropic. This is in addition to designing workspace barriers / screens to enable employees to begin returning to work safely, as per Government guidelines.

Ruth Cook, Managing Director of GWP, said; “The packaging we manufacture is a critical part of the supply chain for many businesses supplying directly into critical sectors such as health, medical and food production. But we understand that there are many areas outside of this where we can make a difference too, and will look to help wherever we can.“

The GWP Group – which will reach a landmark of thirty years of trading in September - employs over 100 people at locations in Cricklade and Salisbury, designing and manufacturing a wide range of bespoke packaging products.

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