On the UK’s East Coast, rail operator LNER has suspended catering, but is instead supporting its suppliers and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The operator has, for example, worked with rail catering partner RG to provide up to 5,000 sandwiches each week to a charity fighting food hunger. These are fresh sandwiches that would have normally have been served on-board LNER services, which will be made and delivered by Bradford based supplier Tiffin to the charity FareShare Yorkshire’s centre in Leeds.
Claire Ansley, LNER customer experience director said: “Our Catering and Community teams have formed a partnership with FareShare, which is dedicated to fighting hunger by redistributing surplus food. It’s one of many steps LNER is taking to support our suppliers and communities during these challenging times.”
FareShare is a national network of charitable food redistributors, which supports almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups across the UK, including school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes.
Gareth Batty, FareShare Yorkshire CEO has welcomed the support: “We’re delighted that LNER’s sandwiches will be put to good use and will be delivered to people who are vulnerable and at risk across Yorkshire.”
Tiffin’s key account manager, Steven Dunn said: “During the pandemic we have seen our workload reduce significantly. As LNER (via RG) is a key customer for Tiffin Sandwiches, being able to send their order to support these local communities is both inspiring and heart-warming.”
In another initiative more than 500 eggs that would have been used for First Class LNER breakfasts were donated to Matt Healy ‘X The Foundry’ in Leeds to make Yorkshire Puddings included in lunch for hundreds of NHS frontline staff.
LNER is also supporting Food Revival in Leeds and other supplies have been donated to the Magic Hat Café in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and ambulance stations in Falkirk, Sauchie and Stirling.
David Horne, md of LNER said “Beat Ehlers (ceo of rail caterer RG) and his team have made this happen – an example of true partnership!”