Leeds Corps and Network Rail help people in food poverty
published on 3 Jul 2023
Rail commuters and members of the public showed their generosity by donating food to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis as part of a new partnership launched by The Salvation Army and Network Rail.
Volunteers from Network Rail were at Leeds Station on Tuesday (27 June) collecting items to distribute through the church and charity’s Leeds Central church, which supports people who are in food poverty.
Leeds Central Salvation Army provides a free community drop-in lunch every Monday, a café offering a two-course lunch and drink for £1 and food parcels every Tuesday, plus free takeaway food on a Thursday.
Major Michael Barker, who leads Leeds Central Salvation Army in Nile Street with his wife Nicola, said: “We were really pleased with how it went and want to say thanks to all who donated to us. We had plenty of food items, bags of books and clothes. Many people were very generous in giving money as well.”
Madeleine Kelly, from The Salvation Army’s Corporate Partnerships Unit, added: “Thank you to Network Rail volunteers who gave their day up to collect donations. At a time when inflation means food items are almost 20 per cent higher than they were a year ago*, partnerships such as this help us gather the vital donations we need to help vulnerable people who are worried about where their next meal is coming from as well as raising awareness of food poverty.”
The donation station in Leeds was the first event as part of a countrywide collaboration between Network Rail and The Salvation Army.
Madeleine added: “After the success of this first event we are really looking forward to building on this relationship with Network Rail and hosting more donation stations in the future.”
Rosie Brown, operations graduate at Network Rail said: “It’s been really lovely to collaborate with The Salvation Army. We saw lots of engagement from the community and lots of people donated. We had food, clothes, books and plenty of money dropped in the buckets. People were really excited to see us and it was a pleasure to take part.”
* Due to the sharp increase in inflation, food and non-alcoholic drinks were 19.1 per cent more expensive in March 2023 compared to a year before, the largest increase in 45 years according to the Commons Library Research Briefing, Rising cost of living in the UK, p.4, April 2023.