This month, global firm INEOS’ Newton Aycliffe site has donated £5,000 to The Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen through the international INEOS Community Fund. This grant will support the vital work of the community charity as it helps provide food and everyday necessities to hungry and homeless local people in these particularly challenging times.

The Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen is a volunteer led project set up in 2019 to keep local people most in need supported in cases of hunger poverty. Ordinarily, members from its team of 60 volunteers run a nightly food session to feed the city’s hungry and homeless while food parcels and crucial everyday items are also handed out to families in need. Until the beginning of lockdown, the self-funded charity gave away an average of 8,300 portions a month to those most without food supplies.

To meet the government’s social distancing guidelines the charity has made urgent changes to its relief effort in the local community. While normal service is now on hold, The Soup Kitchen is still busy preparing hot food, which is delivered four nights a week by volunteer drivers to those in need. Throughout the lockdown the charity has experienced increased demand from families in food poverty, in addition to greater challenges as food donations have dropped dramatically

Andrea Bell, Founder of The Sunderland Community Foodbank, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant which will be put to the best possible use by our inspiring team of volunteers, working hard every week to bring essential supplies to those most in need across the city. We don’t receive any institutional funding, so donations of this kind and support from the wider community are essential in keeping our crucial operation going in these tough times.”

The £1M INEOS Community Fund was established by INEOS Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe in March 2020 in tandem with the company’s COVID-19 “Hands On” campaign, which set up new production lines to provide millions of bottles of free hand sanitiser per month to hospitals and frontline healthcare. The fund enables INEOS sites across the world to support the charitable organisations doing vital work in their local communities at this particularly difficult time.

Janet Ward, UK Communications Manager at INEOS company INOVYN, said: “The Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen has been a lifeline charity for those struggling the most across the city. In just a year the volunteer led scheme has given away over 30,000 three course meals to the community and has been working tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to ensure the most in need get hold of food. We are delighted that we can help the organisation support the needs of local people in these difficult times through the INEOS Community Fund.”

More information on the work of the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen and details on how you can support it can be found on its Facebook page: /