A SOLIHULL foster mum has been rewarded for her efforts donating food and clothes during the pandemic.
Tracey Harriott has been crowned ‘Most Heroic Individual’ in the inaugural Heinz Food Heroes awards which celebrates those working in the food industry who have gone the extra mile for their community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tracey, who works in event catering at the NEC, was handed the accolade for her efforts creating a network of businesses and colleagues to gather and donate surplus food, clothes, bedding and furniture to charities and community groups.
When Tracey was working at Amadeus’ Starbucks NEC franchise she noticed at the end of the day there were regularly perishable food items thrown away due to expiry dates.
Having just started volunteering in her local community, this got her thinking.
She got permission from NEC management to gather the food and deliver it to the community projects shere she was volunteering.
From there it spiralled as more and more teams across the venue started to offer items.
This wowed the judging panel, which included 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown and Heinz’s President of northern Europe, Jojo de Noronha.
A shocked Tracey said: “I’d like to thank the team at the NEC for their continued support in both collecting and supplying donations, my colleagues and friends and family.
“Everyone pitches in to help whenever they can.
“I may co-ordinate it, but it wouldn’t be possible without all the help people are prepared and happy to give.”
The winners of the annual initiative will receive a gift package, including a £5,000 bursary to help them continue to make life better in their community.
Youngstars Community Hub in Castle Vale, said: “Tracey has helped to continue our food bank and enabled us to run cooking sessions.
“Tracey has also helped us with clothing for our young people – we look after around about 75 children per club night.
“Over Covid, Youngstars has not been open but that hasn’t stopped Tracey; she has been running raffles to help raise money.
“With the money we have been able to buy a three-wheeler bike to deliver food parcels and help towards paying for a family’s bills when both parents were made redundant due to Covid-19.”
Candice said: “Tracey stuck out to me straight away, her selflessness as a foster carer and then to set up what she did in order to support her local communities is simply astounding.”