Atlas Goes on a Shopping Spree with a Difference
It was supermarket trolleys at the ready for the Atlas team this week as they took on the Supermarket Sweep challenge in support of Hackney Foodbank in London. Armed with a budget, a shopping list, a map, and a list of things to spot along the way, the staff competed in teams to see who could bring home the most food.
In total, the Atlas team collected 459 kilos of food for Hackney Foodbank, which will provide three-day emergency food parcels for around 40 people.
This event was run in response to the spiralling cost-of-living crisis in the UK, which has seen demand for Hackney Foodbank increase by 53% in just a year. The charity has seen a 95% increase in the number of referrals from people aged over 65, while the number of single-parent households needing support has also risen sharply.
“We launched our Impact ESG program last year and actively encouraging our employees to engage with key environmental and social initiatives, so we’re delighted to be supporting Hackney Food Bank here in London this week at our European Kick-Off”, said Chris Hemingway, VP Commercial Services in Europe for Atlas. “Despite London being one of the leading global cities for business, there are still pockets of poverty so activities like the Supermarket Sweep make a huge impact to Hackney Food Bank, especially at this tough time of the year.”
Jenna Fansa of Hackney Foodbank said: “To have more than 25 staff from Atlas heading to the supermarket armed with a generous budget to buy items we’re running desperately low on made the most tremendous difference. Food donations at our food bank have dropped by 23% in the past year as many of our supporters are feeling the pinch too.”
“Food and drink prices have increased by around 27% in the past two years, for many London workers' wages have failed to keep pace with rising living costs. Here in Hackney, average rents are more than £2,000 per month. But the most fundamental issue fuelling demand for our food bank is that Universal Credit simply isn’t enough to cover the basics.”
“Many of the people we support are elderly or unable to work due to ill health, disability or mental illness. The social security net that should be there to catch them isn’t fit for purpose.”
Each week, Hackney Foodbank provides emergency food parcels for around 550 people. The charity has six distribution centres across Hackney and recently launched a mobile food bank. They distribute more than 14 tonnes of food per month.
Offering Supermarket Sweep to corporate partners is their response to rising poverty and a way of making sure people don’t go hungry. The companies taking part say it’s a great form of team building, while making a tangible difference to people in crisis.
Lulu Rufael, Chief HR Officer at Atlas, said: “As a global company, it’s a priority for us to have a positive impact on the people and communities where we work, as well as contribute to the sustainable economic and environmental future of the countries where we live. The work that organisations like Hackney Foodbank do for their local communities is vital, and we’re humbled to be able to partner with them to contribute meaningfully to their work while also raising awareness of the underlying issues affecting the area.”