Sheraz Awan, the owner of Westerhope Convenience Store, has donated loaves of bread outside his shop every day for over three and a half years.

The retailer from Newcastle upon Tyne began his selfless journey in March 2020, aiming to provide for those with food insecurities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sheraz has donated over 300,000 loaves of bread to food banks, community kitchens, and individuals since.

A conversation with a local woman sparked his mission after she revealed that her children were going to bed hungry.

Sheraz told Convenience Store: “I set her up with a few packs of groceries and then I realised, she’s probably not the only one that’s in this situation, but she’s been gracious enough to tell me that a lot of people are too embarrassed to say.”

shrez bread

The retailer initially displayed his bread donations in-store. However, after realising that people felt embarrassed to collect the bread from inside, he decided to place the bread outside.

‘’We feel ashamed, we feel embarrassed, we feel undignified. I received many messages on Facebook, so I said OK, I will put it outside. You don’t need to see us, we don’t need to see you and that’s it, that’s what I did.’’

In March 2023, Sheraz’s incredible generosity was acknowledged by a surprise holiday gifted by singer-songwriter Fleur East on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Six months on, the store owner continues his unwavering commitment to supporting his local community, spending four hours every morning buying bread from cash and carry wholesalers to place outside his store for those in need.

sherea bread 4

Sheraz also explained that the outside of his store has become home for many other free food and drink items, such as eggs, milk and hot dog buns.

“If it’s food related and I see I have found it cheaper, I buy it. Why not?”

As well as Sheraz’s generous donations outside his store, CDW Food Bank in Newcastle told Convenience Store that the retailer “has donated quite a large amount of non-perishable on two separate occasions, and he also very kindly picks up our donated bread each week from Warburtons”.

Many locals on Facebook have praised Sheraz for his continued efforts, with one commenter calling him a national treasure.

“Heart of gold, always serving the community and going above and beyond. Thank you Sheraz Awam” wrote one Facebook user.

Sheraz encouraged other retailers to help those in need. “I think every retailer should do their little bit because I’m in a little part of a city, in a little village, in a little corner and if I can shift nearly 2000 loaves of bread a week, we have serious issues in this country with people going hungry and the homeless.

“Every shopkeeper should do a little bit if not even on my scale, do something even if you put a tray of bread, 10 loaves, 20 loaves outside every day, it helps and you know, it’s good for your reputation as well.”