Food banks reveal what items they need to support those most impacted by the Coronavirus in the West Midlands

Central England Co-op has been working with food bank partners in the West Midlands to showcase what items are needed to support people during these uncertain times.

The retailer is currently running an urgent food bank appeal to support its charity partners after they reported a major fall in donations at the same time as a spike in demand due to the Coronavirus.

Organisations and charities have now created bespoke lists of what they need to ensure they can continue to make vital emergency food parcels in the coming weeks and months.

Items can be dropped off at special collection points at all Central England Co-op Food stores before being collected by food bank partners and handed out to those who need them most at this time.

Rugeley food bank is in need of tinned meat (stewing steak, hot dogs, curries, meatballs etc), tinned potatoes, packet mash, sandwich meat (corned beef, spam, ham etc), rice pudding, tinned tomatoes, long lifer juice and coffee.

Lichfield food bank is in need of long life milk and Bethany food bank, in Birmingham, is in need of tinned spaghetti and any sauces.

Northfield Community food bank is in need of all dried and tinned food, tinned meat and fish, long life milk, cereals, pasta and rice and jars of sauce.

Max Shanahan, from the food bank, said: “We need everything really as our supplies are really low.  We fed about 100 people just on Friday morning.”

Central England Co-op Chief Executive Debbie Robinson said: “As a co-operative retailer, we want to make sure we are leading the way for our communities during this difficult time.

“We are asking people to show their co-operative spirit and donate an item or two so our food bank partners can provide emergency food and support to individuals and families.”

The retailer has recently launched a range of measures to help those whose lives have been affected by the Coronavirus.

This includes:
•    A mass recruitment drive for Customer Service Advisors in many of its stores to ensure the community continues to be served
•    Donations to FareShare Midlands and Dementia UK to allow them to continue their vital community services

Central England Co-op is also asking all customers to show ‘care, compassion and respect’ to its colleagues as they work around the clock to serve their communities.

The retailer is asking people to come together and support its front-line colleagues who are going above and beyond to replenish stock levels and keep stores open.

In its food stores, the Society has also put in place a temporary limit of two of every product to help maintain stock levels but has reassured customers that there are no issues with its robust supply lines and that shops are getting daily deliveries.

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. 

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 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.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2020.

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 several 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.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop