AIB has been working with FoodCloud since it introduced its new community programme ‘AIB Together’ in 2018. Delivering social impact is a key pillar of the AIB Together programme and as part of the programme, each AIB employee is entitled to two volunteering days per year. Employees can volunteer with their chosen charity and, to date, over 3000 volunteer hours have been logged by AIB staff.
FoodCloud is a multi-award-winning social enterprise that enables the redistribution of surplus food from industry to the charity sector. As part of the AIB Together programme, AIB has a €1.8m three-year partnership with FoodCloud, which is part-matched by Government funding, channelled through Social Innovation Fund Ireland. FoodCloud has helped ensure 45 million meals have gone to people and not to waste, and they now move more than 28 meals every minute of every day. In 2018, FoodCloud distributed over 19 million meals to almost 9,000 charities across Ireland and the UK.
With warehouses in Cork, Dublin and Galway, FoodCloud Hubs work with food businesses nationwide which can have volumes of surplus food available in their supply chains. Through FoodCloud, charities have access to an ongoing supply of high quality food and businesses can contribute to their local community in a meaningful and practical way by ensuring that no good food goes to waste. AIB’s Branch network is closely aligned to FoodCloud’s geographical spread, facilitating the partnership.
AIB volunteers have played a key role in FoodCloud’s operations, most notably supporting the administration of the Fund for European Aid (FEAD) to the most deprived in Ireland. Since the launch of the programme in mid 2018, 232 AIB volunteers have given 1410 hours of their time. They have packed over 82,000 food packs which have benefited 30,000 individuals. Top beneficiaries were Crosscare, Depaul, Dublin Simon and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
“I appreciate the simplicity of the concept of FoodCloud but also the needs of people…. that are really not that far away from where we were working, local communities and places where people are taking shelter and someone else is looking out for them.”
“We worked great as a team and I feel we were all proud of the time we put in. I now have a food conscience – I even bought a bruised banana at the weekend!”
“Since AIB Together volunteers started working with FoodCloud, a record amount of food has been moved to charities who need it.” says Rosie Fuller, Volunteer Coordinator at FoodCloud. “The teams arrive to our Hubs in great spirits, ready to get involved and with an enthusiastic approach. It’s rare that teams don’t ask interesting questions. Their feedback has been very positive and we’ve really enjoyed having them!”