Summer Food Bank Appeal will help tackle the issue of holiday hunger for children
Posted by Rob Smyth | 31/05/2018 | Category: Community
We are joining forces with food bank partners to tackle the issue of holiday hunger for children this summer.
The Summer Food Bank Appeal will run for three months from June to August and customers are being asked to drop off one or more items – ranging from food to toiletries – to help youngsters in need across the area.
After successful campaigns at Christmas and Easter collected over 85,000 items for food banks, Central England Co-op asked charities what was the biggest issued they faced during the summer months.
Over 85% of food banks working with the Co-op said the same thing – a rise in demand from families who see the safety net of free school meals removed during the summer holidays.
This often leaves people trying to stretch their budgets in order to eat and in some cases going without proper food during the holidays.
Across the retailer’s trading estate of 16 counties, figures from End Child Poverty revealed that over 400,000 children are at risk of falling into holiday hunger during 2018.
As a result Central England Co-op is launching its summer campaign to collect extra donations to try and tackle the rising problem.
The items will then be used to create either bigger food parcels for families with children or to provide special packed lunches for projects that tackle holiday hunger during the summertime.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be able to support our food banks all year round and in the past few months have helped collect over 85,000 items to help people in need.
“We wanted to ensure that this great support continued and, after speaking to our food bank partners, knew that helping to tackle holiday hunger was the right thing to do.
“This summer we are appealing to our customers and members to support our campaign and help youngsters in need and their families so they don’t have to go without during the holidays.
“All we are asking is that people drop off one or more items into our food banks this summer and help make a real difference.”
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products
Anna Feuchtwang, Chairman of the End Child Poverty coalition, said: “Holiday hunger, when children lose the lunch provided by school, is an urgent problem and a direct consequence of rising levels of child poverty across the UK.
“Food banks are now critical sources of support and without urgent action increasing numbers of families will be reliant on the generosity of the public to feed their children.”
Central England Co-operative has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores all year, which have resulted in thousands of people every month from Birmingham to Norfolk being given enough food to cook meals.
The Society works with over 50 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.
Helen Lloyd spoke about the issue of holiday hunger as part of a special film created to tell the story of Arnold Foodbank, in Nottingham.
She said: “This summer we are asking people to put themselves in the position of those who need to visit a food bank and ask how would they feel if their children were going without food.
“It’s heart-breaking and it does impact anyone and everybody – you don’t know when it is going to be you.
“We are delighted to be working with Central England Co-op and supporting the Summer Food Bank Appeal to combat holiday hunger.
“As many people are thinking of their holidays and enjoying the summer - We would ask people, if they can, to donate some items during the campaign. This will make a huge difference to help our food bank ensure that children and their families don’t go hungry this summer.”
A full list of the stores taking part in the appeal can be found by visiting www.centralengland.coop/summer
Key items needed by food banks during Summer:
- Tinned food
- Dried pasta
- UHT milk
- Instant coffee