Retail Royalty: The Charity Challenge

July 18, 2013

When Money Supermarket asked me to get involved with their latest blogger challenge – Retail Royalty – I didn’t hesitate to accept.  The concept was simple: I would be provided with £30 to gift in goods to a charity of my choice.  As a bargain hunter with quite a thrift savvy head on my shoulders, I knew this was the perfect challenge for me!

It’s all too easy to look out for ourselves and only do things with the anticipation of personal gain, which is a sad truth, especially in the current money tight climate when many single people, couples and families are struggling.  If you read my challenge intro post you’ll know that the charity I chose to support helps those in financial crisis with the aim to keep people from going hungry – my local food bank, Food Store at King’s Church in Darlington.

I could have headed off to the supermarket but instead I had a good think about how I could maximise the value of my funds.  At first I contacted various food manufacturers which didn’t prove fruitful, but then Approved Food, who specialise in selling discounted food products online, came to my aid.  I’d asked them if they could help me out and they agreed to match my funds, doubling my £30 to a massive £60!  I was overwhelmed by their generosity and was so happy to have them on board.

I spent hours trawling the online store looking for the best deals, bearing in mind the type of food that would be most appreciated.  Staples such as packets of pasta, rice and soup and tinned fruit and vegetables went in my virtual trolley first as simple to cook foods are quick and cheap because they use less electricity.  Chocolate bars and biscuits may seem unnecessary purchases but little treats can make a massive mark on lifting a person’s spirit.

When the food parcel was delivered to my door I was amazed by just how much I was able to buy.  In total I’d managed to buy 205 products!  The fact Approved Food helped me by doubling my funds made a big impact, and the offers I made sure to utilise – such as 3 or 4 for £1 – meant I had bought so many more items than I would have done by going to the regular supermarket.  The extra food meant only one positive impact: more families and individuals would be eating and benefiting from this food parcel.

This is what I bought ->

But that’s not all…

A short while ago I got in touch with leading local newspaper, The Northern Echo, who were really interested in what I was doing and said they’d love to run the story.  A reporter called me to chat about the finer points and it was agreed my photographer fiance, Sean J Connolly Photography, would take photos for the article.

We went down to the Food Bank earlier today where we finally got to hand over the two big boxes of food.  I was so excited and I didn’t anticipate how humbling it would feel.  The volunteers were so friendly and appreciative, I knew I picked the right charity.

The story is going to press as I speak, but here’s the photo that was taken and will be appearing imminently in the paper: (I’ll add a copy of the paper later!)  You just can’t put a price on media publicity like this.  Many eyes will look upon the Food Store and donate or help in other ways from seeing them in the paper.

Myself, volunteer Ac and manager Lisa Marsh
Image Sean J Connolly Photography

I want to take this opportunity to thank Sean J Connolly Photography for the fantastic photo, Mandi Bishop at The Northern Echo for her brilliant report, Approved Food for matching my funds so generously and finally Money Supermarket for devising such a selfless challenge, providing the funds and giving me the opportunity to give something back.

*The Food Store at King’s Church, Darlington are always in need of donations for their continually depleting supply.  If you’re an individual or business and want to help with the supply of food, then Kings’ Church would love to hear from you.*

Becky x

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