In just six hours more than a thousand pounds worth of goods was donated by generous shoppers who gave more than 600 cans of soup, plus dozens of jars of coffee, boxes of teabags, sugar and biscuits.
“We were staggered by the response which was well beyond our expectations,” said a Soup Run spokesperson.
“It proved that the people of Milton Keynes do care about those who may be less than fortunate than themselves – those who do not have a roof over their heads to go home to and those who may be able to just about house themselves but cannot afford to feed themselves as well.”
The amount collected filled nearly four of the large cages – pictured right – which are used by supermarket Partners for receiving and restocking shelves. In addition some customers gave cash donations.
“We are truly grateful to Waitrose for allowing the Soup Run to hold the collection in the store on one of its busiest days of the week. Waitrose also allowed the Soup Run to store the donations on its plastic boxes at the rear of the store before also assisting in the movement of the items for storage to a Soup Run member’s home,” added the spokesperson.
Four members of the Soup Run team are Partners with Waitrose – three working at Oakgrove and another at the supermarket’s Brinklow distribution centre.
The Soup Run remains indebted to the help it also receives from other companies in Milton Keynes including Adelie Foods at Redmoor, Prêt A Manger and Costa Coffee who all daily donate sandwiches and other food for the benefit of those in need.
The Soup Run was the subject of Waitrose Community Matters token collection scheme recently. The supermarket giant – part of the John Lewis Partnership – again shared £1,000 from its monthly commitment to support local causes and generous customers again showed their understanding of the need to help the Soup Run.
The money will help pay for soup, tea, coffee and sandwiches for the many people in Milton Keynes who either homeless or in need in other ways.
Many, if not technically homeless, are sofa-surfing – sharing friends’ or acquaintances’ homes but often are unable to afford to pay for adequate food for themselves.
Without a fixed address many find it hard to obtain employment and in addition they also can have problems making claims for benefits.
A Soup Run spokesman said: “We are extremely grateful to Waitrose and its customers who again have come up trumps.
“The number of clients we are dealing with each night has grown hugely in recent months and this has put incredible strain on our finances.”
The Soup Run is run entirely by volunteers who give up their time on a regular basis.