Co-op donation to FareShare Midlands helps create nearly 300,000 meals for people in need
A Co-op donation to support a vital food redistribution charity help people impacted by COVID-19 has resulted in over 20,000 people receiving vital food parcels in just three months.
Central England Co-op handed over the five-figure sum to FareShare Midlands at the start of lockdown to pay for extra transport and staffing costs to make sure that more emergency food packages continue to be delivered to those in need.
This resulted in 22,245 people receiving 297,500 meals from 1 April to 30 June via local good causes in the East Midlands.
Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “We are delighted to see that our donation to FareShare Midlands has made such a massive difference during these difficult times.
“We are extremely proud of our long-term relationship with FareShare and were pleased to be able to extend the work we already do to ensure that those impacted by the Coronavirus could continue to access vital food.”
One of the good causes to benefit was Eyres Monsell Club for Young People, in Leicester.
The voluntary youth centre works with young people aged eight to 25 to offer a variety of services including educational, leisure and social sessions and support services.
The group operates in an area which is among the top 10% in the city when it comes to social deprivation and this often results with them helping people with a range of problems.
It linked up with FareShare Midlands to help support its community café, which offers low cost breakfast and lunch, and also its community pantry, which allows people to pick up a bag of food among other supplies,
During the lockdown, the group has still been ensuring people have access to food by keeping its food supply service open and recently celebrated distributing its 1,000th package to the local community.
The donation has also supported Remar UK, in Nottingham, a charity offering free housing and support to a wide range of vulnerable people.
The type of vulnerable groups Remar work with include single mothers and families living in poverty, homeless people, and individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
It aims to support individuals by taking them off the streets and into a safe housing environment where they are helped to focus on positive mental health development, as well as given practical help and essential supplies such as food and hygiene products to regain a sense of confidence, dignity, and self-esteem.
It also operates a community kitchen that involves the team cooking a meal twice a week and handing them out to 80-120 people. In addition, if any food is not used up in the cooking process, food parcels are made up and given out.
Central England Co-op already works with FareShare Midlands on a ground-breaking food redistribution project that sees all best before food items and non-food goods that cannot be sold taken to the Society’s Food Distribution Centre, in Leicester, where it is then delivered to FareShare who send them to support dozens of local charities all year round.
It has also recently donated a further £100,000 as part of the its Summer Support for Kids campaign to help with work to combat holiday hunger among youngsters.
People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates
Notes to editors
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, travel 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
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