// Sainsbury’s announces £5m investment towards community support plan as England prepares for second lockdown
// Funds will go to over 1150 local charity partnerships with a commitment of up to £4m; another £1m for local charities
// Sainsbury’s also making a second “thank you” payment of 10% of four weeks’ pay for staff in time for Christmas
Sainsbury’s has announced a £5 million community fund to combat food poverty ahead of Christmas while also revealing a 10 per cent bonus payment for shop floor staff.
As England prepares to enter a second lockdown for at least one month, Sainsbury’s said it would make a second “thank you” payment of 10 per cent of four weeks’ pay to frontline staff and managers, in time for Christmas.
Staff enjoyed a separate and initial bonus payment made during the first nationwide lockdown earlier this year.
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“In recognition of all of the fantastic work those frontline colleagues and managers have done and continue to do, they will be awarded a thank you payment in time for Christmas,” Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said.
“I hope this goes some way to showing our gratitude for all of their hard work and commitment.”
Sainsbury’s is also inviting customers to donate food and other essential products or cash in store and online and will match every donation, doubling every customer’s contribution.
As part of its effort to feed the nation, the grocery giant will donate up to £4 million to local charities and communities between December 1-14.
With the help from customers, it could raise up to and beyond £8 million for charity.
Customers will be able to donate at tills in-store by rounding up their bill on manned checkouts or by adding £1, £2, £5 or £10 donations to their basket on self-service checkouts.
Alternatively, those shopping for groceries online can donate by adding a donation of £1, £2, £5 or £10 to their online delivery.
In addition to the £4 million guaranteed donation, Sainsbury’s and Argos are creating a £1 million pot for stores to contribute to local charities and good causes.
Sainsbury’s said it would work with its charity networks across the UK who are seeing increasing pressure to help feed families facing food poverty up and down the country.
The retailer also said it would closely with its networks to ensure the funds raised reach its local partners in time to help to feed its communities for Christmas.
“This year has presented unexpected challenges for many of our colleagues and customers and we are committed to doing everything we can to help feed the nation and make sure that no family goes hungry over the festive season,” Roberts said.
“We are proud to work with our food donation partners all year round to provide vital support to the communities we serve, but they need our help now more than ever.
“We invite our customers and colleagues to give what they can and we will match all donations, doubling the value of every customer contribution.
“We are donating £5 million to support thousands of good causes, providing millions of meals as we aim to brighten a million Christmases.”
The community investment builds on Sainsbury’s year-long programme of support, as well as its efforts to feed the nation during the pandemic, which has already seen a £3 million donation towards FareShare earlier in the year.
Elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers as well as NHS and social care workers are still able to skip the queues outside Sainsbury’s stores, while elderly and vulnerable customers continue to have priority access to online orders.