Staffordshire Police officers and staff based at Longton Police Station in Stoke-on-Trent have been driving up donations to a charitable cause and saw them collected by car on Friday morning (21 May).
Officers and staff spent a week collecting dry food items and toiletries for their ‘Bring A Can’ fundraiser, with more than 1,000 items piling up during that time.
And on Friday they were collected by the Alice Charity’s Philip Rhodes to stock up their People’s Pantry, which supports families in need across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Ruth Davies, a Vulnerability Co-ordinator with Staffordshire Police’s Harm Reduction Hub South, organised the appeal. She said: “Following a talk from the founder of the Alice Charity, Emily Petts, about what they do I was really inspired to help out.
“So I emailed everyone and asked people to bring a can or other food item with them and they responded so well. It was incredible to see how much we collected. The support was really good.
“The charity is a good resource for us at the police to refer families to for help. And it’s a two-way thing – however we can help them out it’s a good thing to do.”
Sergeant Chris Moss, from Staffordshire Police’s Stoke South Neighbourhood Team, said: “Ruth wanted to help them out so arranged all of this and everyone who works at Longton just brought something like a packet of pasta or tin of something to work over the past week.
“Philip came to collect them and just brought his car – they nearly didn’t all fit in.
“It’s a brilliant idea and we love doing as much as we can to help out. These charities support our police work so it’s good to be able to help them out too.”
The People’s Pantry is a central part of the Alice Charity, supporting families throughout Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme to provide a helping hand when it’s most needed.
The People’s Pantry offers families a place they can call upon in difficult times and get a balanced choice of food, allowing them to put a home-cooked meal on their table.
Philip Rhodes, Manager of People’s Pantry, added: “I couldn’t believe the amount of food that had been raised. This will make a massive difference to the families we help. It enables us to add variety to our food parcels rather than just the basics as we’ve had some sweet treats donated and it enables us to bulk out the food parcels a bit too.
“We’ve got our family support team that works with the police in other areas too so hopefully we can work together a lot in the future.”