At South & City College we have many campuses across the city, all with food courts, so it was important to make decisions as to what to do with the food that would otherwise go to landfill as college campuses were closed at short notice due to the pandemic. It was an easy decision to make to donate the food to charities that are close to our various campuses.
The food includes frozen food with a reasonable shelf life. Some charities were additionally given food-grade personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and aprons. Also West Mercia and West Midlands Police were given a load of cakes, cookies and biscuits for them to distribute to the homeless and charities.
Bordesley Green campus kitchens were cleared first and food donated to Vanguard Carnegie Centre in Hockley, just a little way from our Handsworth campus. Food from Hall Green has also gone to the centre. This hostel centre provides a safe space for homeless teenagers and provides support as a stepping stone to independent living.
Next on the kitchen clear out list was our Digbeth campus, and together with a college In-Business member and Subway franchisee, Aksar Khan, food supplies were given out to the homeless in Digbeth, residents in Bordesley Green who have fallen on hard times and to Dorothy Terry Nursing home in Redditch.
The nursing home is a 62 bed charitable trust residential centre and is unable to get a delivery of food from a supermarket for a couple of weeks due to increased demand. Thankfully our delivery will see them through till then. A family member of a resident said "We are so thankful for the kind donations of food from South & City College to the residents of Dorothy Terry Nursing home. It will definitely help in these desperate times of need and bring joy to the residents. We are so thankful."
Bournville College commercial kitchens were next to be cleared with the food donated to the Salvation Army Food Distribution Centre in Aston. The Salvation Army Centre provides a food bank service to provide emergency food parcels on presentation of a voucher from a referral agency.
Food also went to Regency Care Home in Bromsgrove and Village Court Assisted Living Centre in Kitts Green and Shard End.
The teaching kitchens at Bournville will be cleared next week, as will those at our Handsworth and Golden Hillock campuses.
Jules Tye, Head of Events, Catering & Conferencing who has been going out and delivering the supplies across the city said, “It has been good to feel like we are doing something during these unprecedented times. The College is big part of the community, so of course we are going to step-up where we can.”