Builders’ Merchants Federation forms food bank network

Ray Stafford, the member behind the idea

THE Builders’ Merchants Federation (BMF) has set foodbanks across its participating members’ branches in a bid to help the vulnerable during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The BMF said that branches large and small have already pledged their support to the scheme, including firms such as Jewsons, Travis Perkins, Buildbase and PTS.

All those participating will now act as drop-off points for their trade customers to bring store-cupboard basics to be transported to local foodbanks by the merchants.

The idea was suggested to the BMF by Ray Stafford, managing director of Williams & Co. He said, “The idea is to boost the stocks in the nation’s food banks during this time of crisis.

“Many food banks have already run out of items, and others are struggling to help their clients, who are among the most vulnerable in our society.

“Recent supermarket shortages are also adding to the pressure. The country needs help quickly and effectively. With thousands of stores across the nation, vans, drivers and a strong customer base, the UK’s network of builders’ merchants is well-placed to deliver a targeted approach, quickly and effectively.”

John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, added, “The unique nature of the BMF network, with so many sites across the UK, transportation capability and community-minded staff and customers, puts them in pole position to make a difference to those people most in need at this difficult time.

“The response has over the weekend has been overwhelming but it comes as no surprise that so many have chosen to support this campaign.” The initiative is also being supported by the Band of Builders, a charity set up by tradespeople to help members of the UK construction industry battling illness or injury.  They are publicising the campaign to their 10,000 members.

“These are unprecedented times, but we can work together to pull through.”

To keep updated on the developments of the food banks, click here.