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New Positive Impact Campaign Targets Business Events In Cambridge

New Positive Impact Campaign Targets Business Events In Cambridge

Meet Cambridge, the official conference and events bureau for Cambridge and the surrounding area, has launched a new campaign to support those in food poverty in Cambridge, called Meet Up & Make A Difference.

More than 50 venues in its portfolio are supporting the positive impact initiative and clients are being encouraged to take action at their future events with the collective aim of helping two Cambridge-based organisations: Cambridge City Foodbank and Cambridge Sustainable Food CIC.

In common with many cities in the UK, some people in Cambridge are experiencing crisis and food poverty; Cambridge City Foodbank and Cambridge Sustainable Food CIC are reporting a greater demand than ever for their services.

Meet Cambridge is encouraging event organisers hosting business meetings to do one or more of four things at their future events.

These include: ‘Pass On The Pastries’ – pastries, often served on arrival, are generally a source of food waste so organisers are being encouraged to go without and donate the cost to the campaign instead; hosting a Foodbank Collection by asking delegates to come to the event with one or two non-perishable food items; adding a hypothetical ‘Fourth Course’ to a corporate lunch or dinner menu in the form of a QR code to encourage guests to make a donation; and offering delegates the opportunity to make a direct donation by incorporating a QR code on the event registration form.

Judith Sloane, Head of Meet Cambridge said: “Many in our immediate community are struggling to feed themselves and their families and rely on supplies provided by foodbanks. We believe that the events industry is in a position to help and that’s why we have launched Meet Up & Make A Difference.

“We have suggested four very simple ways to encourage event organisers, venues  and delegates to integrate a means of supporting the two organisations in our city as part of their conference, meeting or dinner. It’s important to us that business events have a positive impact on our city and this is a very simple way to ensure that.

“Meet Cambridge is also contributing actively to the campaign. At the last two major events we held – our 25th Anniversary meeting and the recent Shaping Sustainable Events – we have included a donation table and invited those attending to bring along an item. At our most recent event we chose not to serve pastries and we donated the cost to Cambridge Sustainable Food CIC instead. We have been overwhelmed by the response and we really hope others will be inspired to join us to help these organisations get food to where it’s most needed.”

Steve Clay, CEO of Cambridge City Foodbank said: “We rely on donations in order to provide the support we offer our visitors, and without that generosity, many people in Cambridge may have to face hunger. Initiatives such as Meet Cambridge’s Meet Up & Make a Difference are a fantastic opportunity for businesses and organisations to learn about and support charities such as ours that rely upon donations. Thank you to Meet Cambridge and to all of the event organisers who are striving to give something back to those in need in Cambridge. You truly are making a difference.”

Sam Dyer MBE, CEO & CIC Director added: We are incredibly grateful to the work of Meet Cambridge’s Meet Up & Make A Difference campaign and the generosity of its members and clients.  Any money raised will go to supporting those who are finding it difficult to put a meal on the table. Funds raised may cover the cost of a holiday lunch so that families on low incomes are able to access a healthy meal during the school holidays or to buy a parcel of groceries for someone at the Women's Refuge.''

In April, Cambridge City Foodbank issued 1,447 three-day emergency food parcels, 33% more than in the same month last year. In 2023, almost 16,000 people were supported and the need is increasing month on month; as a result, more donations are needed. Presently, Cambridge City Foodbank is purchasing almost 25% of its stock, which is not sustainable on a long-term basis.

More information about Meet Up & Make a Difference


Members of the Meet Cambridge team with donations given by delegates in aid of the Cambridge City Foodbank at the recent Shaping Sustainable Events held at Jesus College.

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