Five-figure donation to FareShare Midlands will create 365,000 meals for at risk youngsters across the country
Over 365,000 meals for youngsters at risk of holiday hunger will be created this summer thanks to a £100,000 grant to FareShare Midlands by Central England Co-operative.
As part of its Summer Support for Kids campaign, the retailer handed over the five-figure sum to its food redistribution partner to provide food and resources to children over the summer months and for campaigning to see a change in Government policy to provide better support for those in need.
By working with partners and securing match funding, it can today be revealed that 80,000 meals will be created in Derbyshire, 120,000 in Leicestershire, 50,000 in Nottingham, 80,000 in the West Midlands, 15,000 in East Anglia and 20,000 in Yorkshire.
The campaign is also urging customers and members to support a food bank appeal and donate food items to support those impacted by holiday hunger and, for the first time, items such as arts, crafts and school supplies to help kids with their school work and keep them occupied during the summer months.
In just over two weeks, the food bank appeal has seen over 10,000 items donated across over 260 stores in 16 counties.
Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “We are delighted to see that our donation to FareShare Midlands is going to help create 365,000 meals for youngsters at risk across our entire trading estate.
“We are proud of the amazing relationship we have had with such a great organisation for several years now and the reach and impact that this donation will have is further proof of the value of continuing to work together to help those in need during the summer months and beyond.
“However, we still need to do more so please, if you can, support our food bank appeal when you visit our stores by popping an item or two into our collection points to further benefit a local food bank partner.
“Now, more than ever, we need to come together as a community and co-operate to ensure that no child goes hungry.”
The campaign comes on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades 1,163,134 children are currently living in poverty and face being impacted by holiday hunger - only 25% of which are actually accessing any kind of support such as free school meal vouchers reinforcing the call that more needs to be done to help.
Simone Connelly, Director of FareShare Midlands, said: “We are delighted to receive such a generous donation from long term supporters, Central England Coop, which will enable us to reach thousands of children across the Midlands this summer.
“With so many families facing financial hardship, affording healthy, nutritious food for their children can be extremely difficult.
“By working with local partners we aim to ease that burden and ensure children stay well fed and active this summer, putting them in the best possible place to start back at school in September.”
The appeal will run from now until September and all customers and members have to do is drop items off in special collection points located in every store.
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products. Also, food banks have requested drinks for children, as well as vital sun cream and after sun.
For the first time this year other items needed include small arts and crafts items such as crayons and paints, as well as school supplies such as pencil cases and stationery.
Keep up-to-date with the campaign by visiting www.centralengland.coop/updates
Notes to editors
Below is a breakdown of some of the food banks that will receive donations as a result of the appeal and the number of youngsters in that area currently living in poverty.
- In Burton and South Derbyshire, Harvey Girls, in Burton, and South Derbyshire CVS are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 15,316 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Bedfordshire, The Need Project is among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 60,385 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Cambridgeshire, Cambridge City Food Bank, Peterborough Food Bank and Yaxley Food Bank are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 72,085 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In the East Midlands, Arnold Food Bank, in Nottingham, Hope Centre, in Derby, Kettering Food Bank and Action Homeless, in Leicester are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 306,907 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- Norwich Food Bank will be one of the recipients of donations in Norfolk and Suffolk.
- A total of 107,973 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Stoke and Stafford, the following food banks will benefit from this campaign - House of Bread and Trussell Trust Rugeley Food Bank.
- A total of 119,705 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- Ediblelinks will be the main beneficiary of donations from stores in the Warwickshire area.
- A total of 74,918 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In the West Midlands, B30 Food Bank, Lichfield Food Bank and Northfield Community Partnership will be among the organisations to benefit from donations.
- A total of 201,686 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Yorkshire, The Welcome Centre, based in Huddersfield, is among the organisations that will benefit from the donations.
- A total of 297,889 children currently live in poverty in this area.