SSgt Michelle Patterson completed a 22-year career with the Royal Military Police before taking a Full Time Reserve Service role as the Battalion Quarter Master Sergeant of 210 BTY, 103 REGT RA, at Wolverhampton.
Last year she applied to the charitable side of bakery chain Greggs – the Greggs Foundation – to nominate local soldiers for any unsold food donations.
Michelle explains: “I noticed that soldiers were coming straight from their daytime employment to train as reserve soldiers, often finishing their day shift to come to drill nights.
“I realised that if I collected any unsold food from Greggs, we would be saving food waste and have happy soldiers who could fulfil their duties with a full tummy,” she adds.
“Winners all round.”
Michelle suggested the name ‘Food for Forces’ which Greggs liked. To make sure she was compliant, she completed a food handling course, and the Army Reserve Centre underwent a hygiene inspection by a member of the Greggs team to ensure sufficient refrigeration, which 210 BTY passed with flying colours.
“I collect the food in my own vehicle using the military cool bag on drill night and it’s a lovely morale boost,” says Michelle. “As a thank you, we invited the two Greggs managers Lindsay and Jenny to our Christmas bash.
“It’s been a nice way for the local community and the military to come together in harmony.”