A Northern Ireland food service firm says it has diversified to support a range of community programmes amid the coronavirus crisis.
Henderson Foodservice says it has “diversified its operations to support a wide range of community support programmes and has seen its healthcare business increase as it helps keep staff, patients and residents fed in hospitals, hospices and hundreds of care homes across Northern Ireland”.
That includes a contract with the Department for Communities to supply more than 3,000 food boxes a week for delivery to vulnerable and self-isolating people until the end of June as well as providing a range of products for Salvation Army created food parcels and welcome packs for people in need through the Simon Community.
“Ensuring constant supply of essential food items such as pasta and tinned beans was key at the beginning of lockdown and local community groups and foodbank organisations as well as government departments reached out to Henderson Foodservice to enable them to meet increasing demand,” Kiera Campbell, sales director at Henderson Foodservice, says.
“We are working alongside other food companies to fulfil the Department for Communities contract and staff from all levels and departments at Henderson Foodservice were at one stage packing 200 boxes an hour on a busy production line to turn out food boxes quickly and ultra-efficiently. Everyone pulled together engendering a fabulous team spirit to get the job done.
“Other projects we’re working on include an Education Authority programme to support their youth projects by providing a range of lunch products for young people in need of a healthy regular meal.
“As well as contractual projects Foodservice has also made donations to five Belfast based foodbanks and in the Republic of Ireland, we teamed up with our customer Thomas Franks Ireland to supply food parcels to over 200 ICU staff at Beaumont and St Vincent hospitals in Dublin.
“Creating food parcels was a process we had never facilitated before and we’ve worked hard to adapt and perfect our approach and supply procedures. We’ve built up valuable skills and expertise and would look to examine the potential to evolve this in the future.”