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John Lewis Partnership unveils series of community support initiatives as country battles COVID-19

Lauretta Roberts
22 March 2020

The John Lewis Partnership has announced support for leading charities in the UK as they assist the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

An initial donation of £75,000 will be given to each charity – including Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust – by the retail group.

Funding will be used immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing help to those in local communities who are self-isolating or facing food insecurity.

The John Lewis Partnership said they will support the charities over the coming months as the crisis is set to intensify.

Caroline Silke, social impact manager for the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The John Lewis Partnership is committed to supporting those most in need in our local communities.

“Increasing our support of these vital charities, so they can shore up their operations and plan for the uncertainty of the next few months, is critical.”

Last week, the retailer launched a £1 million community support fund to create additional delivery services, as well as delivering essential items to care homes and community groups and donating products to vulnerable people.

Laurie Boult, fundraising director of Age UK, said: “This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones.

“Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis.”

Waitrose donates surplus food to charities at the end of each working day through FareShare’s redistribution app, while the retailer has Trussell Trust donation points in 147 stores. In 2019, customers donated 486 tonnes of food.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “The coronavirus pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge and as it progresses, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network.

“We know that together we can better support communities across the UK so we are truly grateful for this vital support.

Please look at our website to find out more about food banks and coronavirus.”

Yesterday John Lewis announced that its department stores would be closed until further notice, with Waitrose stores and the Food Hall at John Lewis Oxford Street, to remain open.

Some John Lewis staff have been redeployed to Waitrose to help keep the supermarkets operating during the crisis. Over the weekend, John Lewis chairman Dame Sharon White was spotted to help unload food at Waitrose stores.

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