Store donates surplus food to Bury St Edmunds charity

Mike Coleman (CEO of Bury Drop In Centre), Matt Law (Hospitality Section Manager), Cllr Julie Wakelam (Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds), Garry Easter (Store Manager) and Sheila Mitchell (Drop in Volunteer).
Mike Coleman (CEO of Bury Drop In Centre), Matt Law (Hospitality Section Manager), Cllr Julie Wakelam (Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds), Garry Easter (Store Manager) and Sheila Mitchell (Drop in Volunteer).
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A national department store is donating surplus food to a Bury St Edmunds charity which supports the homeless and vulnerable.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is supporting Bury Drop In as part of the retailer’s nationwide food redistribution scheme.

The company’s Bury store, in Butter Market, has agreed to provide unsold food on a daily basis to the charity.

To celebrate the partnership, M&S invited Mike Coleman and Sheila Mitchell, from Bury Drop In, to the relaunch of the store’s cafe which has had a makeover.

The Mayor of St Edmundsbury Cllr Julia Wakelam also attended the event and she spoke about the important role Bury Drop In plays in the town.

Mr Coleman, CEO of the charity, said the partnership with M&S has made a ‘tremendous difference’ to the charity.

He said the food was helping to feed about 150 people a week including people who attend the drop-in and those in need in the wider community.

They are planning to buy a refrigerated van which will help transport the goods.

The charity also receives food from Nando’s, Tesco, Greggs, Mings Oriental and Street Level Cafe.

David Bonnett, one of the trustees and managers at Bury Drop In, said: “Twice a week we provide a safe non-judgemental atmosphere for the homeless and vulnerable and those with housing needs in our town, to have hot food and drink and talk with friendly people.

“We are able to help with basic day to day living requirements, but it’s thanks to the support of companies who can provide other products or services our guest may require.

“As a group of Christians we are determined to show our compassion and reach out to different areas of society and we’re delighted that companies such as M&S are helping us to do this.”

Garry Easter, store manager of M&S Bury St Edmunds, added: “Bury Drop In does a fantastic job of supporting people in the local community.

“My colleagues saw the food redistribution scheme as a great opportunity for us to work closely with Bury Drop In and we have built a fantastic relationship with the charity team.

“We work hard to reduce food waste in our store and it’s great to know that any surplus is being used to support such a worthwhile and impactful initiative in Bury.”

The Drop In is open at the Elven Centre, in Garland Street, every Tuesday and Friday from 11am to 2pm.