May 24, 2021
Leek-based company provides enough cheese for 300,000 cheese rolls
Ornua Foods UK, a dairy co-operative based in Leek, has been playing its part by donating high quality dairy products to those impacted by Covid-19 in the Leek, wider Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent areas. Twelve months on from the start of the first lockdown, the major producer of cheese and butter has now donated over 7.5 tonnes of cheese and some 230,000 portions of butter to local charities, community groups, foodbanks, nursing homes, and NHS key workers.
The donations – enough to make 300,000 cheese rolls – have been distributed through a range of organisations across the region including:
- The Royal Stoke Hospital, where 2,500 packs of cheese have been donated to NHS front line workers.
- Eight nursing homes in and around the Leek area.
- The Biddulph Youth and Community Zone, has created hundreds of food parcels each week, over 1,500 of which have included cheese donated by Ornua.
- The Tri Services and Veterans Support Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where John Painter and the team have been creating over 50 food parcels each week to support veterans out in the local community.
- The Trussell Trust Leek Food Bank, which Ornua has continued to support with cheese donations as well as canned drinks, chocolate and biscuits from their staff canteen which is currently closed.
- Sharon Ball and the team at Moorlands Home Link in Cheadle helping support their ‘meals on wheels’ initiative which includes creating a selection of meals including cheese pie, cheese scones, cauliflower cheese and cheese oatcakes as part of the 100 meals they make each week.
The donations to local groups are in addition to a further 11 tonnes of cheese that Ornua has donated in partnership with Tesco to FareShare, a national charity which is helping to tackle the twin issues of food waste and food poverty. With 5.8 million people in the UK living in ‘deep poverty’ and 3.9 million tonnes of food being wasted every year in the food and drink industry, FareShare is working with many of the UK’s largest food & drink businesses, such as Ornua and Tesco, to start to close the gap. As a result, cheese from Leek now helps support a variety of charities in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, and Hull.
Commenting on the donations, Bill Hunter, Ornua Foods UK’s Managing Director, said, “Ornua has had a presence in Leek for nearly 100 years, and today we are one of the area’s largest employers and are proud to be an integral part of the local community. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to play our part in helping those whose health and wellbeing were being adversely affected. One year on, we’re pleased to have been able to play a small role in supporting the great work being done by local charities and support groups across the region by donating our cheese and butter to them.”
Commenting further, Kate Taylor, Employer Brand & Engagement Coordinator at Ornua Foods UK who has been helping to distribute the items out into the community said, “Over the last 12-months, I have met so many inspirational members of our community who are going above and beyond every day to support those in need. It has been such a heart-warming experience to see the cheese we have donated being put to such good use.”