Colruyt customers donate 76,826 meals to Food Banks
During the recent collection campaign, customers at Colruyt Lowest Prices donated a total of 76,826 meals to the Food Banks via gift vouchers. The Belgian Federation of Food Banks welcomes the help of Colruyt and its customers. In the words of Jozef Mottar, managing director: "Collecting more than 159 tonnes of food with a total value of €236,625 is an enormous boost for the Belgian Federation of Food Banks." The Food Banks distribute the products via 641 affiliated and official charities. Jozef Mottar explains how it works: "Our volunteers use the food that has been collected to create new food parcels, to meet the needs of individual families. That currently enables us to help more than 157,000 people in need."
Colruyt has been organising a special collection campaign for the Food Banks in its shops since 2005. This year, the campaign ran from 28 March to 10 April and Colruyt customers could choose between two different food parcels: a breakfast package including porridge oats and milk, or a package for a hot meal with products like tomato soup, mushrooms and pasta. Christophe Dehandschutter, commercial director at Colruyt Lowest Prices, looks back at the campaign with satisfaction: "The increase in the number of donations is absolutely wonderful. We hope to do just as well, if not better, next year and we would like to thank all our customers for their wholehearted support for the Food Banks."
Working together all year round
As well as the annual collection campaign involving customers, Colruyt offers the Food Banks structural support all year round.
Since 2016, the Food Banks have visited the shops to collect food that cannot be sold but is still perfectly edible. "These are products with damaged packaging, or unsold fresh products that we take off the shelves four days before their final sell-by date", explains Christophe Dehandschutter. "The generous shelf life makes life easier for the Food Banks, and we also make sure that the cold chain is unbroken." Last year, 44 shops donated food like this to the Food Banks and 60 shops are joining in with this initiative in 2018.
Since 1997, Colruyt has also set products aside in its distribution centre if they are too close to their sell-by date to be delivered to the shops. The Food Banks then come and collect those products every weekday. In 2017, donations from Colruyt's collection campaign combined with its permanent support totalled more than 1,800 tonnes of food.