Leicester Central England Co-op store dresses down to drive up food bank donations

Over 250 items have been handed to a Leicester Food Bank after Central England Co-op colleagues dressed down to encourage people to donate.

The team from Aikman Avenue store turned up for work in their own clothes last weekend in an effort to drum up support for New Parks Library Food Bank.

Customers responded in their droves and now dozens of local families will benefit from vital food parcels in the coming weeks as a result.

Sally Smith, Store Manager, said: “We held a dress down weekend in aid of a much-needed local community food bank appeal.

“Thanks to our colleagues and customers for their generosity.”

This comes after Central England Co-op launched an urgent food bank appeal in March in an effort to support food banks across Leicestershire impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

So far, over 75,000 items have been donated by people heading into Co-op food stores that will be used to help counter a major spike in demand alongside a fall in donations.

Leicestershire-based Soar Valley Community Food Project is another of the projects being support by the appeal. It has seen a 50% increase in requests for food since the start of the pandemic.

Tim Jackson, from the project, said: “The donations have been amazing from all parts of the community which has meant we are coping with the increase.

“The donations in Central England Co-op stores have risen significantly, probably between three and four times what they were in January.”

People looking to make a difference can make a donation to their local food bank by visiting their nearest Central England Co-op food store and dropping an item or two into special collection points.

Donations will be collected up from Central England Co-op stores and used to create food parcels, which contain around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.

Items needed for the food bank appeal include cereal, tinned food and fruit, tea bags, dried pasta, rice, long life milk, sugar, biscuits, fruit juice and squash, pasta sauce and instant coffee.

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting www.centralengland.coop/updates



Notes to editors

Picture caption: Colleagues from Aikman Avenue Central England Co-op Food Store helped collect 250 items for New Parks Library Food Bank.

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



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop