Volunteering at Oldham Foodbank is proving a rewarding experience for our Transport Manager Pete Greenwood.
Pete, who is now working two days a week as he heads towards retirement, spends each Friday morning at the foodbank based in the Prince of Wales Industrial Units on Vulcan Street in Derker.
And after sharing his experience with our Sales Director Gareth Evans, we have now opened a drop-off point for staff and customer Foodbank donations at our Reception (opposite our Fittings Dept).
Pete, who has been our transport manager for the past 21 years, says: "I mentioned it to Gareth and suggested we put something in the staff newsletter to gauge the response and it's moved on from there.
"I do three-and-a-half hours every Friday at the foodbank. We have two warehouses, one set up like a supermarket where we put orders together to be delivered out, and another one - where I'm working - where we stock all the goods coming in from the supermarkets and donations.
"It's a really enjoyable and rewarding way of spending your time. I'm usually working with two or three other people; there's no pressure, we just get on with the job knowing we are doing something good to help other people."
Pete, 67, started volunteering at the foodbank on Christmas Eve last year after re-connecting with an old pal, Mick Heap, who was already helping out there.
Pete adds: "I was cutting back on my time at work when I connected up with Mick again. He was delivering the food parcels, so he suggested I went out with him, and I realised how important the foodbank is. We're currently delivering about 1,000 food parcels a month and the demand is growing."
Now one of 90 volunteers staffing the foodbank, Pete is planning to extend his hours there as he finds himself with more time available as he hands over the transport office reins to Trevor Ross.
But it's not always plain sailing for the foodbank, with Pete and his fellow volunteers appealing for help after stocks reached unprecedented lows caused by increased demand and fewer donations.
He says: "We get short of a lot of food items, particularly tinned meat and fish. We've been short of pasta and baked beans too. There have been occasions when we've had to resort to buying some foods using financial donations."
Donations from the public can be made via the drop-off points in several supermarkets across the town or by dropping them off directly at the food bank on Vulcan Street during its operating hours of 9am-3pm Monday to Friday.
Now HPP Oldham staff and customers can drop off suitable food items at Reception, where Pete will collect them from and take them to the Oldham Foodbank.
As of the most recent request from Oldham Foodbank, the following items are urgently needed over any other food items:
- Baked Beans
- Tinned fruit
- Tinned potatoes
- Tea Bags
- Jams / Marmalade
- Shower gel