Food bank volunteers in line for Croydon Champions team of the year award
A maintenance repairs team that helped set up a community food bank have been nominated for the Croydon Champions team of the year award.
Staff from Mears Croydon, who are contracted by Croydon Council to carry out maintenance work at council properties across the borough, donated their time, labour and materials to help set up the Community Food Store in Church Street.
The team have been nominated for the award by Fatima Koroma, project manager at the food store, who said without their help the shop would never have opened.
She said: "They helped with the set up of the store, including donating units to the store the food, setting up a sink so the shop had washing facilities, decorating and helping to secure donations from local supermarkets.
"They are truly worthy of the team of the year award as the shop, through their help, has helped feed hundreds of people in Croydon. Without their invaluable support, the shop would not be there."
Mears customer care officer Laura Pestana designed the logo for the food store and designed and printed leaflets ahead of its official launch last December.
She said: "I really enjoyed taking part in the project; it has given me an insight into how many residents are living in poverty.
"To know Mears have played a part to ensure they are fed in tough times gives me faith that Mears make every attempt to make people smile."
Branch Manager Mark Soffe, said the team were thrilled to be nominated for another award, having already been recognised at the council's 2013 community civic awards earlier this year.
He said: "This project was really important to us, its not just a school garden or a reading buddy scheme- it is more than that. We could have thrown £500 at a project and walked away but we wanted to help out.
"As far as we are concerned if tomorrow the door doesn't open or a sink starts leaking, we will be there to fix it."
Mears were unsuccessful in their attempt to re-tender their contract with Croydon Council, but Mr Soffe said he hoped whoever took on the contract continues their good work.
He added: "Hopefully whichever company comes in will continue the legacy for us."
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