For food emergency support, visit Shropshire Larder

Shrewsbury Food Hub works with Pret A Manger on Pride Hill, where the lovely team has been donating its surplus food to local charities for almost five years. Despite the challenges of Covid and lockdowns, Pret’s management team has kept the store going. 

In the early days, Pret donated its surplus goodies directly to Shrewsbury Ark and the Community Fridge at Riversway Elim Church, but food safety regulations led to changes in this approach. A decision was made to only donate surplus food if it could be consumed by midnight on the same day. That meant that Riversway and the Ark could no longer use the food in time.

So, what to do with the surplus food? Why, donate it to Shrewsbury Food Hub of course!

The Hub’s role was to collect Pret’s surplus food and distribute to partner groups that could use it. We reached out to our community network to ask who could benefit from freshly made, good quality sandwiches and salads, and who could consume them before midnight. It took us no time to find new homes for this high-quality surplus food. Who doesn’t love Pret!

A team of Hub volunteers collects from Pret every weekday. Lucas, Alina, Theo and the team sort their surplus ready for collection and are always very welcoming. If they are busy, they will often make a drink while our volunteers wait.

Like all chilled food collections, we temperature control everything we handle. Food is transported from fridge to fridge in chill bags or Kanga thermo boxes. Although hot food such as wraps and soups can’t be passed on to our groups, Hub volunteers lucky enough to be on the Pret collection team can take these home for their supper.

What we do with Pret’s donated surplus

Monday’s food collection goes to Normanton Care Home, which has been a great friend of ours for many years. The staff know the kinds of sandwiches they can expect and add other tasty treats to create a delicious afternoon tea for residents.

Tuesday’s Pret goes to Belle Vue Youth Club. The children and young people love a Tuesday! They have sampled crayfish salad, falafel and houmous wraps, as well as quinoa and grain buddha bowls. We are told, it is a great way of getting them to try different food types.

Wednesday’s Pret goes to the food bank which is open late on this weekday. Families and individuals using the service have a tasty, instant, no prep meal to enjoy. It’s Win-Win Wednesday!

On Thursdays and Fridays, Pret is delivered to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s A&E department in time for hard-working staff to grab a sarnie or salad at the end or beginning of their shift. Staff tell us how much the food is welcomed. So more good food not going to waste!

Pret would love us to collect its surplus on Saturdays too, but currently we don’t have the resources to do this. If you know a community group or club that would benefit and can collect directly, then please let us know, email [email protected].

#HubLove to Pret for supporting us in getting great surplus food put to good use.