23 December

Veronica’s food parcel mission scoops environmental prize

Veronica was one of three winners of our festive competition
Veronica LiveWest food

A mother-of-three who has launched a festive food parcel crusade in Plymouth to help the most vulnerable is one of the winners of our environmental competition.

Veronica Macintosh, 45, helped to set up the ‘Food Sharing 4 Everyone, let’s prevent food waste, Plymouth UK’ Facebook page which calls on Plymouth residents to donate unwanted food.

Veronica has seen a rise in people struggling to afford their own food since the outbreak of coronavirus.

She has used the donations to make up more than 60 food hampers which have been distributed across the city over the course of December.

And in a bid to ensure her hampers are environmentally friendly, she has used recycled banana boxes instead of plastic.

LiveWest judges were wowed by not just the environmentally responsible approach to her highly valued food parcel initiative, but the energy she devotes to helping people.

“I am really pleased to have won this competition,” said Veronica. “I don’t usually go in for competitions but because this one was linked to the environment, I decided to give it a go.

“I am someone who enjoys recycling and take great delight in ensuring things aren’t going to landfill all of the time.

“Everything we did last year was in carrier bags, but the hampers were huge this year, so we looked at an environmentally friendly way to package them.

“The supermarkets are always willing to get rid of their cardboard, so I thought what better way to recycle than to use something that has already been used.

“If we can find ways of cutting down on plastic, the world will be in a better place.

“It was a great idea by LiveWest to have a competition with an environmental theme as they are a landlord that clearly takes great pride in looking after the environment for current and future generations.

“It is lovely to win a hamper, but I will split it up and give it out to people who have less than me and my family.”

Veronica’s food parcel service targeted secondary school children and their families and military veterans this year.

And she has been wowed by the generosity of people to donate items which will mean so much to the most vulnerable.

She added: “My friend set up the Facebook age last year but she sadly had to move to Germany, so I am the only admin on the page now.

“Last year we did around 40 hampers, but we weren’t 100% sure they were all going to the right people.

“I went to a multi-food agency meeting with lots of different food charities and it was brought to my attention that food poverty amongst secondary age children is on the rise.

“So I approached a number of secondary schools in Plymouth to find out which families could benefit from our service.

“I also linked up with Age UK and Devon and Cornwall Police who were able to refer people from the welfare checks they do.

“I also support military veterans, some of whom have become homeless after leaving the forces.

“It is so rewarding to help a wide range of people and play my part in helping those who are struggling.

“People are genuinely finding things incredibly difficult at the moment so it is great that we can make a bit of a difference.”

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