I have just taken part in the Retail Royalty Challenge. MoneySuperMarket.com generously gave me £30 to spend on a local charity of my choice. The challenge was to buy as many items as I could for this amount of money.
I chose PATCH Charity (Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship) as my worthwhile cause. PATCH aim to relieve the effects of Poverty within Pembrokeshire. One of the many ways they achieve this is to give out food parcels or clothing to those with a referral voucher.
PATCH are always grateful for donations of clothing and food. Therefore I decided to use my £30 to do a big food shop to replenish the food items so needed in their Basics Food Bank. At the moment, during these extremely hard times, the food is going out as fast as it is coming in therefore I was conscious that I needed to get as much food for them as I could.
I first asked Tesco for any extra help, however they were unable to do this as they had just had a big collection for the Trussell Trust and Food Share. So I turned to my real life and Facebook and Twitter friends. I asked if anyone had any food to donate or money to give or pledge.
In no time at all my £30 for Tesco had turned into £49, including Tesco money off vouchers I had saved.
I had asked my friend, Makala if she would be free to take a photo of me handing the food over and she said that she would like to accompany me on the shop to take more photos. This turned out to be a huge help as there was a lot of food to load and pack! Thanks, Makala!
I arrived with my own bags so that none of the money would be wasted on 5p Plastic Bag Charges. I thought these would also be a useful donation to PATCH, as they can hopefully use them to hand out food and clothing parcels.
We thought very carefully about the food we bought for PATCH. I had the image of a family needing feeding and what foods would be both nutricious and tasty for them.
I used the calculator on my phone at first to keep within budget. Then we found it was quicker for me to calculate the cost of the multiple items in my head and Makala to tally up the total. We were a good team!
We even had money donated to us as we did our shop! Thanks +Rose Gray !
We bought staples, such as rice and pasta. Lots of tins of chopped tomatoes as these are a basis for a lot of meals and so good for you too.
PATCH are most in need of tinned Meat Meals, Potatoes, Soup, Fish and Fruit at the moment. I imagine the tinned meat meals are appreciated by older people on their own who can just heat it up and eat.
I don’t eat fish myself and was shocked how expensive it is. We managed to pick up some Tinned Tuna on offer. But you don’t get a lot of fish for your money so we concentrated on less expensive, nutricious food.
We made sure we got as much tinned fruit and vegetables as we could as these are just as nutricious as fresh and obviously PATCH cannot keep fresh produce in their basics banks. Tinned Mandarins were a good price at 23p and I will get these for my family in future. Tinned Grapefruit is 34p and would be so refreshing in this heat.
Even the Tesco Value Cereal is quite expensive. We found their cornflakes to be the best bargain at 31p. We also compared the ingredients and nutritional information with the branded cereal. As we suspected, there was very little difference, so Tesco Value Cornflakes are a very good deal.
So we had cereal, oats, UHT milk , fruit and jam for breakfasts; tinned soups (24p) or packet pasta meals (17p) for dinners and pasta, rice, potatoes, meat balls, chicken, vegetables, baked beans, hot dogs, chilli con carne, curry and stock cubes for family tea. We also bought tea and coffee.
It was when we came to the last few pound that we struggled with what to buy. We put in some salt to season own meals, tomato ketchup which kids often appreciate and dried stuffing and gravy mix which should help some families towards a Sunday dinner with the potatoes, vegetables and tinned chicken as well. We also added some biscuits as treat snacks.
The gentleman behind me in the queue kept guessing where to put the divider to start loading his own shopping. He had to keep moving it back as he realised I still had more…and more shopping to load!
Our final total came to £49.06 and 144 items!
For that amount, we had a trolley load of nutricious, tasty, dried storeable food.
My full boot!
We arrived at PATCH to donate our food.
They were very grateful as they had already done a huge shop that morning and that food had already been collected by people in need. If felt great to be able to help PATCH in that way and I found the shop really fun. However, it must be exhausting to do that day in, day out so if you can ever help by donating (tinned) food or money for food then please do. They will have their new address registered to Tesco soon so they can once again have food delivered from there. Please remember that tinned food must be in date and in undented packaging.
Other ways you can help PATCH:
- Donate clothing (there is a particular need for boys and men’s clothes so I will have a hunt through Dave’s and Danny’s clothes)
- Donate ALL textiles and clothes (whatever the condition, these can be recycled to raise more money)
- Donate small household items (cutlery, tea towels etc)
- Donate via Justgiving here
I will be donating more food to PATCH at Harvest Time and also before Christmas. The kids also love to choose a toy to donate to the PATCH Christmas Toy Appeal which will be launched again soon for Christmas 2013.
Thank you to MoneySupermarket.com for providing the money and most of all the inspiration for this Charity Shop. Thank you to Makala for taking all of the photos in this post and for all her help getting donations and during the shop. Thank you to everyone who donated! The more you gave the more we got! Thanks!