Food banks in Stafford appeal for festive treats and vital items as part of Co-op Christmas appeal
Central England Co-operative is urging customers and members in Stafford to donate festive treats and everyday items as part of its Christmas Food Bank Appeal to help people in need.
The retailer worked closely with dozens of food bank providers last year to collect over 60,000 items as part of a special campaign and this year it hopes to beat that figure by donating over 70,000 items during the five-week campaign.
Alongside items such as tea, tinned fruit and toiletries, food banks have this year asked for people to ‘spread a little festive cheer’ by dropping off a Christmas treat such as chocolate or a small gift into collection points at stores in Stafford.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We are proud of our strong links with our food bank partners, links that have allowed us to collect over 200,000 items so far this year.
“We want to ensure this Christmas that we continue this great work and work with our customers and members to be able to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis.
“Our Christmas Food Bank Appeal will help create and provide meals for people across the area in need, thanks to the everyday items donated.
“This year we are also issuing a plea on behalf of food banks to help spread a little festive cheer by donating a nice treat or gift into our special collection points.
“All we are asking is that people drop off one or more items into our food banks this Christmas and help make a real difference in their community.”
The Christmas Food Bank Appeal will run from November 26 to December 24. The items will then be collected and made into food parcels.
These contain around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products to ensure people can maintain their dignity during times of crisis.
Food bank partner Peter Evans said: “We are delighted to support the Central England Co-op Christmas Food Bank Appeal.
“At this time of year it is critical that every food bank is stocked full of basic supplies and little treats to ensure people don’t go hungry during the festive season.
“We are appealing to customers to back this vital campaign by donating an item or two and ensuring that the Christmas Food Bank Appeal is a major success.”
During Christmas 2013, Central England Co-operative Society trialled an in-store food bank collection and such was its success that the Society now has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores.
The store food banks have resulted in thousands of people every month from Birmingham to Norfolk being given enough food to cook meals.
The Society now works with over 50 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.
So far this year, over 200,000 items have been donated, helping create nearly 60,000 meals.
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Central England Co-operative colleague Sheena Lee is urging customers and members to get behind the Christmas Food Bank Appeal.
Key items needed by foodbanks during the festive season:
- Tinned food
- Dried pasta
- UHT milk
- Instant coffee
About Central England Co-operative
Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK.
It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.
Central England Co-operative has over 400 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. The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.
Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility. It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence. The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.
Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.
For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative
Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140