NTT DATA UK, a world leader in consulting and IT services, today announced ‘The City Gives Back’, a major new project to help bolster and expand The Food Pantry at CCSPITS, a food bank run by Christ Church Spitalfields in the East End of London. The City Gives Back will help CCSPITS’s important work supporting local families during the pandemic. Lots of families have been hit hard by the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the City service sector, as the decline in activity led to job losses in roles such as food and hospitality. The project is in collaboration with Bankuet, the leading online food bank donation platform.
The Food Pantry at CCSPITS is already feeding 50 families per week, but the economic impact of the pandemic means the need for its services is higher than ever. The City Gives Back will fundraise over three months to help CCSPITS’s continual efforts to distribute food boxes to those in need, including service industry people left without a job as a result of the pandemic. The boxes contain enough fresh and ambient food to feed a family for 3-5 days.
Bankuet is working with NTT DATA to maximise the impact of the donations for The City Gives Back project. Bankuet is relied upon by food banks around the UK, bridging the gaps in supply and demand in the UK food bank system. Its innovative digital platform makes the process of donating funds as smooth as possible. All donations from The City Gives Back fundraising page will go directly to CCSPITS’s page on the Bankuet platform and will be deployed for vital food supplies for those in need.
The pandemic has forced people indoors, causing the City of London service workers to grind to a halt. What was once the bustling heart of the capital is now little more than a ghost town. With office workers no longer in the City, a wide array of businesses in the service sector have seen their trade decimated, from cafes to newspaper stands, barbers to tailors. According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment hit 6.9% in London in 3 months to November 2020 – the highest rate in the UK and the largest increase nationwide (1.7%) on the previous quarter.
The community in Tower Hamlets served by CCSPITS faces a particularly economically precarious future. An estimated 19% residents are in the distribution, hotel and restaurant trade, which means COVID-19 has hit them especially hard. The latest government data from May 2020 showed 12.5% working-age residents were on out of work benefits in May 2020 – above the London average of 12.2%.
Pete’s story: A programme born out of friendships
Pete, a City A.M. worker, lost his job like so many others, as organisations were unable to renew contracts for City service staff. Many have been struggling to provide for their family and put food on the table. Pete is familiar to many NTT DATA staff, who got to know him as he gave out papers on the way into NTT DATA UK’s office in the Royal Exchange in the City. Pete was a positive fixture in their working lives, chatting and laughing at his jokes, no matter the weather.
Kim Gray, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at NTT DATA UK said: “Having known people such as Pete for several years, it has been devastating to witness first-hand the impact that the pandemic has had on City service workers and local families. City service workers are an integral part of the city, and it is up to businesses like NTT DATA to support them during this difficult time”.
When lockdown happened, Kim Gray, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at NTT DATA UK, reached out to Pete to make sure he was okay. This led to a discussion between the pair over lunch about what could be done to support those in need in the City – and so The City Gives Back was born. Pete will play an integral role, supporting NTT DATA to hand out food and encouraging others to seek help.
Simon Williams, CEO at NTT DATA UK said: “As soon as Kim brought the idea to me, we as a company were immediately on board. It is credit to the hard work of Kim and the NTT DATA Diversity & Inclusion team, working closely with Christ Church Spitalfields, Bankuet and others to have managed to bring this brilliant project this life.
“Initiatives like this are fundamental to NTT DATA’s commitment to diversity and to building a better society. Businesses have a responsibility to help their local communities and do good in society. And business leaders must never lose sight of our ability to enact positive change. City of London businesses like NTT DATA have been fortunate enough to adapt to the circumstances thrown at us by the pandemic – and we all have an obligation to give back.”
NTT DATA’s DO DIVERSITY initiative is committed to building a fairer and more sustainable world and works with a range of charity partners to improve the lives of those in need. NTT DATA UK employees will be giving their time to help safely run the food bank and give food to those in need. The City Gives Back project has a fundraising target of £10,000, which will provide at least 500 more parcels for people experiencing crisis.
Anyone who wants to donate to help fund food supplies can give here: https://uk.nttdata.com/The-city-gives-back
Christ Church Spitalfields (CCSPITS) is a vibrant and diverse community in the heart of East London. Our vision is to see Jesus loved, churches grown and society transformed across our locality and beyond. CCSPITS have been sharing content online to help us remain centred and grounded during this turbulent time. To find out more, visit www.ccspits.org/churchlife
Bankuet was founded in 2019 with the mission of getting food banks precisely what they need, when they need it – and to make it easier for the generous and supportive public to donate. The Bankuet vision is for no-one in the UK to go hungry.
Founder and CEO, Robin Ferris, was moved to start Bankuet after volunteering at food banks and noticing that they received excessive amounts of some products, but were often in need of other items. Bankuet was set up to ensure zero waste at a time when UK poverty and food bank usage was already at record levels. He wanted to do something to help and created Bankuet as a practical, technology-based response to increase food bank donations.
In 2020 Bankuet was recognised by The Spectator for its efforts being nominated twice: as a finalist in its Economic Innovator of the Year awards as a Regional Finalist, in addition to a special Social Impact award. Bankuet also won The Speciality Food Magazine’s competition to find the most inspiring Covid-19 innovation story.
1) Office for National Statistics Labour Market Update in January 2021