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Social impact start-up aims to help churches give to food banks this Harvest

A social impact start-up created by a Christian is looking to provide an easy way for churches to support food banks this Harvest, part of its vision that 'no-one in the UK should go hungry'.

Social impact tech start-up Bankuet, the UK’s leading online food bank donation service, will help to ensure Harvest Festival is plentiful for food banks this year. Many churches will be keen to support their local food banks this autumn and Bankuet is providing them with a safe and easy way for congregations to make donations, even if there are COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Churches can simply set up and share an online fundraising campaign – using a free toolkit of promotional resources – and encourage church members to donate money through Bankuet. As a business for good, Bankuet will then buy large quantities of the exact products that food banks need. 

Bankuet was founded as a practical technology-based response to increase food bank donations and plug the gap in the food bank supply chain. The company buys essential items, requested in advance by the food banks (similar to an online shopping list) directly from food retailers. Bankuet buys these items in bulk, meaning the money stretches and nothing goes to waste.

Founded on the premise that ‘Bankuet will get food banks what they need, when they need it – and make it easier for donors to give’, Bankuet provides a 21st century solution to an age-old problem – food poverty.

So far this year, and in spite of the global pandemic, Bankuet continues to be amazed by the on-going generosity of the British public: in just one year, donors’ generosity has helped Bankuet to create 9,000 Bankuet Bundles of food and household necessities each delivered to food banks nationwide for those in need.

Robin Ferris, CEO and founder of Bankuet said: “As a longstanding member of the church community, myself, family and friends look forward to donating food items to the church every year for the Harvest Festival – which is a real celebration and the opportunity to give to those who need it most. I know many other churches will be keen to do the same for their local communities, during what looks set to be a very challenging autumn.

“Little did we know last year when we set Bankuet up that we would face a global pandemic in our first year. We stepped in, scaled up, and quickly filled the gap created when people weren't shopping – and therefore donating – in the usual way.  We are looking forward to working side by side with the church community to help continue to ‘feed’ food banks in a way that isn’t disrupted by the pandemic. It is a really simple solution and it works.”

Pete Hughes, Senior Pastor at Kings Cross Church (KXC) commented: “We take our role in society and our local area seriously and believe that caring for others as well as ourselves helps to build strong, resilient communities. We are deeply encouraged by the work churches do across the nation – from cities to rural villages – helping distribute necessary items to those in need. The last few months have really brought this home.

“Like so many different ministries, food banks have had to adapt significantly during the pandemic and having digital tools like the ones Bankuet provides has been invaluable. With Bankuet’s help, we set up Kings Cross food bank here in London in April and at Harvest Festival we will be able to continue to grow in care, dignity and love – through donations – with our church family.”

Bankuet’s vision is that ‘no-one in the UK should go hungry’. By working with church communities across the UK, and especially at Harvest Festival, we can continue to take steps to make sure everyone in our communities can count on the support of their local food bank.

Churches can set up a Harvest Festival campaign on the Bankuet site, enabling church members to conveniently donate online to their church’s collection, maximising the amount of food delivered to the local food bank.

  • Also provided is a suite of resources to engage the whole church family and show the difference communities can make when they come together, including worship resources, children’s activities and promotional tools.
  • By moving key elements of the food bank supply chain online – pooling donors’ generous gifts and using them to place bulk orders of the items food banks need most – Bankuet became an invaluable tool as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 
  • The tech start-up had to scale up rapidly to meet demand for a safe, convenient way for people to give to those in crisis. With 1.5 million people going hungry for at least a day during lockdown the public responded generously, and Bankuet saw donations grow by 5000% in March, as reported in the Guardian. Its 75+ strong team of volunteers has worked tirelessly to help more food banks and donors use the service.

More information about Bankuet’s online Harvest Festival 2020 can be found at https://www.bankuet.co.uk/harvest-festival.

1 https://foodfoundation.org.uk/new-food-foundation-survey-three-million-britons-are-going-hungry-just-three-weeks-into-lockdown/

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