Volunteering at Oldham Foodbank is proving a rewarding experience for transport manager Pete Greenwood.

Peter Greenwood

Oldham foodbank to get new collection point for donations thanks to volunteer Pete Greenwood.

Volunteering at Oldham Foodbank is proving a rewarding experience for semi-retired transport manager Pete Greenwood from Springhead. 

Pete, who currently works two days a week at board, doors and furniture fittings manufacturer and supplier Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) in Oldham, spends each Friday morning at the foodbank based in the Prince of Wales Industrial Units on Vulcan Street in Derker. 

After sharing his experience with HPP Sales Director Gareth Evans, the company is now planning to open a collection point for staff and customer donations at its trade counter on Scottfield Road. 

Pete, who has been HPP’s transport manager for the past 21 years, says: “I mentioned it to Gareth and suggested we put something in the staff newsletter to gauge the response and it’s moved on from there. 

“I do three-and-a-half hours every Friday. We have two warehouses, one set up like a supermarket where we put orders together to be delivered out, and another one – where I’m working – where we stock all the goods coming in from the supermarkets and donations. 

“It’s a really enjoyable and rewarding way of spending your time. I’m usually working with two or three other people; there’s no pressure, we just get on with the job knowing we are doing something good to help other people.” 

Pete started volunteering at the foodbank on Christmas Eve last year after re-connecting with an old pal, Mick Heap, who was already helping out there. 

Pete adds: “He was delivering the food parcels, so he suggested I went out with him, and I realised how important the foodbank is. We’re currently delivering about 1,000 food parcels a month and the demand is growing.” 

Now one of 90 volunteers staffing the foodbank, Pete is planning to extend his hours there as he reduces his time spent at HPP in anticipation of full retirement. 

But it’s not all plain sailing for the foodbank, with Pete and his fellow volunteers appealing for help after stocks reached unprecedented lows caused by increased demand and fewer donations. 

He says: “We are short of a lot of food items, particularly tinned meat and fish. We’ve been short of pasta too. We’ve had to resort to buying some foods using financial donations.” 

Donations can be made via the collection points in several supermarkets across the town or by dropping them off at the food bank on Vulcan Street during its operating hours of 9am-3pm Monday to Friday. 

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