Supermarket app helps Hackney charity feed hundreds of families a week

Volunteers from Hackney charity Children With Voices sort supplies at one of its food hubs. 

Hard working volunteers from Hackney charity Children With Voices sort supplies at one of its food hubs. - Credit: Grey Hutton/National Geographic Society Covid-19 Emergency Fund

A Hackney charity has ramped up the number of meals it is providing to people in need thanks to a supermarket app. 

The M&S app, launched in March 2020, notifies charities when surplus food is available. 

It has seen M&S branches on Mare Street and Fenchurch Street provide more than 28,871 meals to local communities, including Hackney organisation Children With Voices.

The local charity says the food redistribution scheme has been "vital" to its work as a community food hub during the pandemic and has helped it support over 700 people a week, as well as open a new hub.

Grace Chapman, PR volunteer at Children With Voices, said: "We have opened a new hub on Sundays, providing more vulnerable people and families than ever before with high-quality food that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.

"This makes such a genuine difference to their sense of wellbeing and their mental health, at a time when they need our support the most.”

The app aims to increase food donations and stop good food going to waste. 

M&S encourages local charities and community groups to get involved in the food surplus scheme by emailing

Volunteers pack bags with food.

Volunteers Ziggy Noonan, Carletta Gorden, and Michelle Dornelly sing along to Whitney Houston as they pack bags with food at the Community Food Hub in the Wilton Estate Community Centre, April 6, 2020. Michelle started Children With Voices 25 years ago, but since lockdown the demand for her food hub has grown exponentially. She distributes food donated to her organisation to some of the most underserved estates in Hackney, a lifeline to many low-income families or vulnerable residents who are shielding - Credit: Grey Hutton/National Geographic Society Covid-19 Emergency Fund

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