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44|Retail News|January/February 2014|www.retailnews.ie

Food For Simon

Simon Says ‘Thank You’ to Food Industry The Food For Simon initiative has generated €1m in cost savings for the Simon Community since its implementation. SIMON Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, recently joined key players from the food industry to mark a special milestone in the success of the Food For Simon initiative. Since it was launched in 2009, Food For Simon has generated €1m in cost savings for the Simon Community. The initiative encourages companies to donate food, services and other essential items, which would usually be purchased by the Simon Community to maintain and run its homeless services. Congratulating the food industry on this “fantastic achievement”, Minister Coveney stressed that companies in the food sector have shown tremendous support for the Simon Community and those who are homeless or at risk, despite a tough market over recent years. The Minister also used the event as the chance to discuss new initiatives and look at how the sector can do more to help those who rely on Simon services. Indeed, the floor was opened up to debate on the importance of the food sector being socially responsible. “The room was awash with ideas and enthusiasm for the future of Food For Simon,” said Michael Carey, founder, Food For Simon. “We had a refreshing debate that looked at how we in the food sector can push the

Pictured celebrating Food For Simon’s landmark achievement are (l-r): Padraig McKeon, Simon Board Member and Communications Consultant; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD; Mairead Butler from Rabobank; event MC Bryan Dobson, RTE; and Nigel Ward from Valeo Foods.

boundaries and look at new ways to help the Simon Community provide essential services, at a time when demand is at crisis levels. It’s good to celebrate this success, but even more important to challenge this group to build on that success to make a greater positive impact.” Generosity & Support Speaking at the event, Sam McGuinness of Dublin Simon

How It Works • Food For Simon was established in 2009 by Michael Carey with the objective to reduce costs of products and services at Simon Community. • The programme originally included food products only. However, it was later recognised that the programme could be expanded to include other costs, such as cleaning supplies, medical supplies and other services.

• BWG Foods agree to act as a central pivot, taking telephone orders from each Simon service for items on an agreed list and deliver those items (free of charge). • At the end of each quarter, BWG Foods compute a total of each item delivered and informs the participating firm of those quantities. The participating firms then replenish BWG warehouse with an equivalent quantity free of charge.

If your company is interested in becoming involved in Food For Simon, please email corporate@dubsimon.ie or call (01) 6728966.

Community congratulated and thanked companies for their generosity and support: “At a time when homeless services are being stretched more than ever, the commitment of our friends who support the Food For Simon programme makes an enormous difference in the day-today running of the services we provide to people who are vulnerable and have nowhere else to turn. “It is critical that we further develop the programme and build the list of goods and services in Food for Simon, such as cleaning materials, baked goods and poultry, in order to make significant cost savings throughout the organisation, to enable us to focus on providing accommodation and support to the people we support each day.” Companies that support Food for Simon include: Kellogg’s, Barry Tea, Valeo Foods, Donnelly Fresh Foods, Nestlé Ireland, Boyne Valley Group, Gem, Rabobank, United Drug, LeasePlan, and Ion Equity through Topaz.

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