Retail Gazette Loves: John Lewis & Waitrose host Christmas feasts for the vulnerable

Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners have invited over 1000 people across the country to enjoy a festive feast as part of its’ campaign to bring people together this Christmas.
// John Lewis & Waitrose join with FareShare to host Christmas dinners for vulnerable people
// The retailers have partnered with food distribution charity FareShare

Waitrose and John Lewis have invited over 1000 people across the country to enjoy a festive feast as part of its campaign to bring people together this Christmas.

The UK’s largest food redistribution charity, FareShare, has nominated more than 50 other charities to take part – including homeless hostels and lunch groups for the elderly.

Across the next two weeks the charities, those in need and volunteers will enjoy a Christmas dinner served by John Lewis and Waitrose staff.

“For many, Christmas is a time to get together with loved ones to celebrate. Yet for some, this can be the most difficult time of the year,” Waitrose social impact manager Caroline Silke said.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the festive season, which is why we will be hosting these lunches to spread some Christmas cheer to those who deserve it most.”

Some celebrities will also lend a helping hand, including sports personality Clare Balding and cricket star Jonathan Agnew.

The dinners will be hosted in private dining rooms in John Lewis shops, or in the local charities’ dining spaces.

(Image : Waitrose and Partners)

“We want to create special events which bring people together around the table to  enjoy a memorable, festive feast, which they might not otherwise have,” John Lewis head of corporate responsibility Stephen Cawley said.

FareShare commercial director Alyson Walsh said: “We know that 46 per cent of people receiving food from FareShare supported groups have gone without a proper meal in the last month, so we are thrilled to be working with both John Lewis and Waitrose to provide these Festive Feasts and help more people feel part of the community.”

John Lewis and Waitrose will also make a £150,000 donation to FareShare –  the equivalent to providing 600,000 meals.

Staff from both retailers have also pledged to volunteer at FareShare Regional Centres during the festive period.

Waitrose shops will continue to donate surplus food to charities at the end of each day via  FareShare’s redistribution app, which connects the shop with local groups in need.

The supermarket has donated the equivalent of 1.5 million meals to those in need since 2017 and 10,000 meals are expected to be donated this December alone.

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