Stagecoach North East has teamed up with the Middlesbrough Foodbank to provide an initiative which provides service users with free travel on its buses following an approach from a local Middlesbrough Councillor.
Stagecoach has shown its support for this community cause and has joined forces to provide a voucher scheme which allows people across the Tees Valley area to take up the offer and assist with travel costs for people who visit the Foodbank.
The voucher, which can be exchanged on all Stagecoach buses in Teesside and Hartlepool, enables anyone who uses the Foodbank service to travel on a single journey from its seven food bank collection centres throughout Middlesbrough.
The Foodbank was established to aid people suffering from financial hardship, to provide food parcels which help service users eat each night and not worry about where their next meal may come from. The Middlesbrough Foodbank also offers advice and puts people in touch with organisations which can provide long-term solutions.
Cllr Matthew Storey, Middlesbrough Councillor for Central Ward, said: “I am delighted that following my approach to Stagecoach North East, they have agreed to start this scheme in Middlesbrough. Foodbanks provide vital support to people who are really struggling. Often they will have mobility issues or children with them when collecting their food and in any event, travelling from the Foodbank with heavy bags isn’t always easy. This excellent community engagement from Stagecoach North East will make a real difference to people who could use a little extra help when they are finding it hard to make ends meet.”
Middlesbrough Foodbank project manager, Soroush Sadeghzadeh, believes it is the first service of its kind in the area. He said: “I first heard about a similar project through the Trussell Trust’s newsletter where a local bus company had partnered with a local food bank. At the time, I thought that such a partnership would really benefit our clients in Middlesbrough and it wasn’t long after that I had a call from Cllr Matthew Storey about Stagecoach North East partnering with us to offer this service.