Foodservice giants deliver five million coronavirus support packages

Brakes and Bidfood have now delivered more than five million shielding packs to vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

The foodservice duo have been dropping off vital food supplies to in-need people in England and Scotland since late March and their efforts were described as the biggest support effort on home soil since the Second World War.

More than 3,000 employees from Brakes and Bidfood have been involved in the support initiative, which drops off boxes containing more than 20 products including pasta and rice.

The wholesalers joined forces as part of a Defra initiative and Environment Secretary George Eustice paid homage to their efforts.

“I want to thank all those involved at Brakes and Bidfood for the sterling work they’ve done to get food to the most vulnerable people in our society,” said Eustace.

“Together they have packed and delivered 4.7 million food parcels across England [with another 800,000 in Scotland] – a truly outstanding effort in such a short space of time.

“While the food boxes have come to an end, those who had registered for them will remain eligible for a priority supermarket delivery slot and the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue to provide support with getting food, prescriptions and essential items to those who are self-isolating for any reason.”

It is the first time Brakes and Bidfood – who are traditionally competing for business rather than working together – have worked together on a project and released a joint statement to express their pride at what they’ve achieved.

“Everyone involved across both businesses have been so proud to have played a part in helping some of the nation’s most vulnerable people at a time when supporting them was so crucial,” said Brakes Director of Supply Chain and Operations, Alex Mayfield, and Bidfood’s Supply Chain and Technical Services Director, Jim Gouldie.

“We had this scheme up and running in a matter of days and since then, every morning, hundreds of vehicles have left our depots carrying thousands of essential supplies across the country to those who need them.

“The number of calls, letters and messages on social media that we’ve received have been amazing. Our drivers have heard first-hand how these boxes have been a lifeline for the clinically extremely vulnerable receiving them throughout lockdown and we’re delighted to have been able to be a part of such a critical programme.”

Alex Mayfield Bidfood Brakes coronavirus covid-19 Defra delivery Jim Gouldie vulnerable