Leicester distribution hub donates enough items to create over 90,000 meals for those in need
A unique link-up between Central England Co-operative’s Leicester-based distribution hub and an organisation which supports hundreds of local charities has helped create over 90,000 meals for people in need.
The retailer’s three sites, based in Scudamore Road, deliver items to over 200 Food Stores across 16 counties and for the last five years the hub has worked with nearby FareShare East Midlands to donate any unsold food.
During 2018, nearly 39 tonnes of food, varying from yoghurts and cheese to vegetables and chocolate, were packed up and shipped to the FareShare warehouse, in Narborough.
This resulted in hundreds of local charities sharing enough food to create 92,500 meals throughout the past 12 months.
Lee Dundee, Distribution Warehousing Manager, said: “2018 was a record year for the amount of food that our distribution sites were able to donate to FareShare East Midlands.
“The reason we can donate these products vary but include everything from having casing damaged during transport to suppliers sending the wrong product by mistake.
“We work with great suppliers who are aware of the amazing operation at FareShare East Midlands, resulting in them being more willing to donate any stock to help people in need.
“Our close link with FareShare has now been going for more than five years and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely together to help those in need across the East Midlands.”
This forms part of a wide ranging link-up with FareShare East Midlands that includes an ambitious project that also now sees unsold food from Central England Co-op stores being redistributed by the organisation to help good causes and reduce food waste.
The project sees best before food items and non-food goods that cannot be sold collected by colleagues from the Society’s Food Distribution Centre,, then delivered to FareShare to send out to over 250 local charities across the Midlands.
The scheme is now live in over 100 Food Stores spread across 16 counties.
FareShare East Midlands’ Director Simone Connolly said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone at Central England Co-op’s distribution centre for the amazing level of donation in 2018.
“We have worked with them for several years and our work together has helped us provide thousands of meals for people in need.
“This, combined with our pioneering food redistribution project, allows us all to work together to continue to ensure that good food isn’t wasted.”
Over 300 workers help supply over 200 stores across 16 counties from the Society’s Food Distribution Centre, which is spread over 120,000 sq ft and is the equivalent size of six Olympic swimming pools.
The Society’s distribution hub is also home to a 42,000 sq ft Chilled Distribution Centre which supplies everything from turkeys and pork pies to double cream and fruit.
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 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 2019.
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 member 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 and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390