First York customers help raise £1,000 for foodbank appeal to buy fresh food over festive holiday

First York customers have helped the bus operator to raise £1,000 to support the York Foodbank appeal to put fresh food on the tables of struggling households over the festive holiday.

Donations from texts of FIRST to a special number reached £440 together with over £500 raised by First York employees. The money has been used by the charity to provide vouchers for use in supermarkets to buy fresh goods, which the foodbank is unable to supply.

Adam Raffell, Foodbank Manager, said:

“This is a wonderful response from First York customers.

“We’re so thankful to First York for highlighting the issues that low-income families face this Christmas with our campaign to provide dignity and choice to those referred for help at York Foodbank by giving them a gift card to spend on fresh items at local participating shops.”

A number of people are also using a travel service arranged with First York and York Foodbank to get to important welfare and advice sessions held at its centres around the city and the charity expects this will grow into the New Year.

The bus operator has provided discounted fares to attend meetings with specialist advisors in money management, homelessness, hardship, loneliness and understanding benefits.

The tickets can also be used for emergency food collections for families and individuals who are having to self-isolate due to Covid.

Adam Raffell added:

“We are hugely grateful for the support of First York in ensuring that clients, many of whom may struggle with viable transport options, can access a Foodbank session and safely transport their bags home.

“The numbers will grow more in the New Year as we train volunteers on distributing the tickets.”

York Foodbank holds four sessions each week which are led by Peaseholme Charity, a small independent charity working with disadvantaged and socially excluded people. Other information is also provided by Citizens Advice Bureau, City of York Council and poverty support groups.

Its centres are all served by First York routes. Session times, locations and bus services are as follows:

  • Monday 11:00-13:00 Gateway Centre, Front Street, Acomb YO24 3BZ (Service 1/4/5/5A).
    Wednesday 13:00-15:00 Living Word Church, 189 Huntington Road YO31 9BP (Service 12/5/5A).
    Friday 10:30-12:30 Cornerstone Methodist Church, 119 Millfield Lane, Tang Hall YO10 3AP. (Service 6).
    Saturday 10:00-12:00 The Citdel (Salvation Army building), Gillygate, York YO31 7EA (Service 1/5/5A).

Notes to editors


  • First York is following Government advice; implementing enhanced cleaning regimes across our vehicles, encouraging good hand hygiene with our employees and displaying public information posters on our buses.
  • Stepping up our cleaning regimes includes use of a long-lasting sanitiser and regular disinfection of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints.