John Lewis Partnership works with leading charities to tackle isolation and food shortages

Saturday 28 March 2020

The John Lewis Partnership is joining forces with leading charities to boost support of the most vulnerable in society during the current crisis. 

A donation of £75,000 will initially be given to each charity, including Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust. The funding will be used for immediate activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak, giving vital help to those in local communities undergoing isolation and food insecurity. 

The Partnership is committed to working with the charities over the coming months to support them through the challenges caused by coronavirus, including identifying how Partnership resources can be best used to match charity need, for example through volunteering and product donations.

Earlier this week, the John Lewis Partnership also announced new measures to support customers, including the launch of a £1million Community Support Fund to help local communities along with a protected shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable. The retailer also launched a support fund to aid Partners of the John Lewis Partnership who are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic; such as childcare costs. Partners will also be offered free meals at work. 

Caroline Silke, Social Impact Manager for the John Lewis Partnership, said: "The John Lewis Partnership is committed to supporting those most in need in our local communities.  Increasing our support of these vital charities, so they can shore up their operations and plan for the uncertainty of the next few months, is critical. ”

Laurie Boult, Fundraising Director of Age UK, said: “This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones. Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis. Thank you to the John Lewis Partnership for making sure we can respond to the growing needs and unprecedented demand we’re seeing.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “This donation is a fantastic injection into the work which FareShare does up and down the country, supporting vulnerable people with food. At this time of COVID-19 crisis, the John Lewis Partnership is enabling FareShare to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of those most at risk and we’re delighted to be continuing our partnership together following the successful Community Festive Feasts project we began last year.”

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support of the John Lewis Partnership in this time of crisis. The coronavirus pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge and as it progresses, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network. We know that together we can better support communities across the UK so we are truly grateful for this vital support. Please look at our website to find out more about food banks and coronavirus.”

The Partnership will also donate money to industry partners GroceryAid and retailTRUST.



FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, with 21 Regional Centres across the country. It takes food from the food industry that can’t be sold in shops, either because of packaging errors, a short shelf life or overproduction. That food, which is the same as the food you’d eat at home, is then redistributed through a network of 11,000 frontline organisations, across the UK such as homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, domestic violence refuges, older people’s lunch clubs, food banks and hospices.

FareShare provides enough food to create almost a million meals for vulnerable people every week.

FareShare Key Statistics (2018/19)

  • Last year FareShare saved 20,838 tonnes of food from waste
  • FareShare provided enough food for 46.5 million meals (that’s 893,737 meals for vulnerable people every week)
  • FareShare supported 10,942 charities and community groups
  • The food Fareshare supplied enabled the charity sector to make £33.7 million in savings
  • FareShare have 22 regional centres across the country, and deliver food to over 1,900 towns and cities
  • Fareshare get food from 500 food companies right across the food supply chain
  • FareShare saved 74,171,500 kg of carbon

Trussell Trust:

  • We’re here to end the need for food banks in UK.
  • We support a UK-wide network of more than 1,200 food bank centres and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
  • Our most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by our network:
  • You can read more about our work at

Age UK:

Age UK works with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International. Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 50 shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as Waitrose & Partners has 338 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has nine shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers.