Amey donates more than £19,000 to the North Bristol Foodbank

Thanks to a fund set up by parent company Ferrovial, Amey was able to offer significant support to charities working to help people affected by Covid-19

Amey has donated more than £19,000 to the North Bristol Foodbank as a way of assisting people struggling to cope with the Coronavirus crisis. The money was used to provide 22,473 emergency meals to almost 2,500 people, helping the foodbank to meet a massive surge in demand.

Supporting and giving back to local communities has always been important to Amey. Our success is intrinsically linked to the places where we work, so we do everything we can to be a good neighbour. When Covid-19 arrived in 2020, we recognised the extra strain placed on people already in difficulties. Assisting local foodbanks to meet the challenge was an obvious way to help.

North Bristol Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust, a network of more than 400 foodbanks around the country. The foodbanks specialise in delivering three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals to local people in need.

The effects of the pandemic meant that many people were turning to foodbanks to survive. Families with children were the hardest hit, with almost 100,000 households in the UK receiving support from a foodbank for the first time between April and June 2020. However, the foodbanks had their own problems with falling donations, pressure to keep their volunteers safe, and the need to meet social distancing and other government guidelines.

Amey recognised that the Trussell Trust was very much on the front line of the fight against Covid-19. We were able to assist North Bristol and 11 other foodbanks as a result of the Ferrovial Together Covid-19 fund. The global infrastructure operator contributed an initial 4.5 million euros, which quickly grew by another five million thanks to donations from employees matched by Ferrovial. This money was made available to Ferrovial companies around the world, who were invited to bid for funds to support local charities and projects.

Amey secured £900,000 for distribution to charities in the UK, including £270,000 for the Trussell Trust. In addition to the donations to individual foodbanks, the head office also received £40,000.

For North Bristol, the £19,165 donation from Amey made all the difference, enabling the foodbank to cope with the surge in demand following the lockdown. It was not just about the extra food parcels required, said manager Matt Dobson – it was about shifting the entire operation to a delivery model in response to the self-isolation and quarantine rules. The money funded the employment of a delivery manager to arrange transport of food parcels to people’s doorsteps.

One recipient said: ‘I recently lost my job, have had no money to buy food and my child has caught Covid, so I can’t go out of the house. Having a food parcel delivered to us has really saved us.’ Another added: ‘I haven’t been able to afford to put food on the table for my three children the last few days. This food has meant I and my family will no longer go hungry.’

Commented Matt Dobson: ‘Since lockdown began our foodbank has experienced a 230 per cent increase in foodbank use. As a result of the generous donation we have received, North Bristol Foodbank have been able to meet this increase in demand. We have been able to support the huge numbers of people in our community who are experiencing food poverty. Thank you Amey and Ferrovial for your generosity.’