Central England Co-op food bank campaign helps feed over 100,000 youngsters at risk of going hungry this summer

Central England Co-op customers and members have been thanked for helping to create over 100,000 vital food and care packages for youngsters at risk of going hungry this summer.

The first ever Summer Support for Kids campaign ran from the start of June and asked people to donate everything from shopping basket staples to small arts and crafts in an effort keep children at risk of holiday hunger fed, educated and entertained during these uncertain times.

The campaign came on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades 1,163,134 children currently live in poverty and are impacted by holiday hunger.

As part of the campaign, the retailer also donated £100,000 to FareShare Midlands to help it provide further resources to children as well as helping its effort to lobby the government to provide better permanent support for those in need.

Today, it can be revealed that the Summer Support for Kids campaign and donation to FareShare Midlands has helped create over 100,000 meal and care packages for children at risk of food poverty in just three months.

The care packages handed out by over 65 different food bank partners included drinks, healthy snacks, treats as well as sun cream, after sun, crayons, paints and pencil cases.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Thank you to our customers and members for their backing of our Summer Support for Kids campaign.

“Just by shopping with us, they have allowed us to generate the funds necessary to make a life-changing donation to FareShare that has ensured they have been able to support children and families who live in the community around your local co-op.

“This donation, coupled by all the items customers and members have dropped off at our stores, means we have been able to support the creation of 100,000 meal and care packages for children who otherwise might have missed out.

“But this campaign has also been about more than just supporting those at the point of need and it has also been about addressing the fact that food bank support has sadly become a permanent solution rather than an emergency response.

“We all want to get to a point where we do not have to rely on the generosity of our members and customers to ensure children do not go hungry every single summer and this is why we continue to call on the Government to urgently address this problem.

“We now need more change from the Government before it is too late to support the young people in our area who fall outside the current support system.”

Recently, Central England Co-op joined forces with several other major retailers to be part of a Child Food Poverty Task Force launched by England footballer Marcus Rashford to continue its effort to see that more is done to ensure no child ever goes hungry.

The retailer works with over 65 food banks as well as FareShare Midlands to help create hundreds of thousands of meals for those at risk falling into food poverty throughout the year.

Central England Co-op has food bank collection points in its stores all year round.

Customers and members are asked to continue to support these vital causes by donating items such as shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products.

 

Notes to editors

 

Picture caption: Smiles all round as over 100,000 youngsters were fed as a result of the Central England Co-op Summer Support for Kids campaign.

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

 

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

 

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

 

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

 

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

 

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

 

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

 

Phone - 01543 421390

 

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop