Plea for festive treats as well as essentials from in demand food banks in Cambridgeshire as retailer’s Christmas appeal continues

Posted by james brindle | Published: 09/12/2020

Food banks have made a special request to help them spread Christmas cheer alongside vital donations of essentials as they continue to see spikes in demand due to the impact of the Coronavirus in Cambridgeshire.

Food banks across the country have urged kind-hearted people looking to donate to Central England Co-op’s Christmas Food Bank Appeal in the run up to Christmas to donate a festive treat alongside some of the vital items they currently need to support people in their communities.

The appeal runs right up until December 31 and some of the retailer’s food bank partners have outlined what items they are most in need of right now, as the impact of the pandemic continues to hit communities hard.

Pat Furzeland, Sawtry Food Bank Supervisor, said: “This year Sawtry Food Bank is looking for donations from our Christmas top ten. These items are Christmas cake/pudding, tinned meat, tinned veg, tinned fish, boxes of chocolates/selection boxes, tinned fruit, long-life milk, cheese crackers/biscuits and toiletries.  

“We are looking to support local families during this difficult time with the help of our local community. Thank you for your support.”

Juliet Welch, Peterborough Food Bank Manager, said washing powder was one of their most requested items, either small boxes of washing powder or washing tablets.

She said: “We are seeing more families in need as their jobs are being affected by the Covid-19 virus and we would love to ensure that they have food at this Christmas time.”

Chris Grant, from Yaxley Food Bank, said: “We are again looking to distribute Christmas parcels to those families in need. The items we would wish to be donated in preparation for this are Christmas cakes, Christmas pudding, mince pies (but only with a use by date after Christmas), Christmas chocolates and biscuits, cranberry sauce, chicken or turkey gravy mix and packets of dried stuffing mix. We do also give out a parcel of our usual items with each Christmas parcel.”

The Central England Co-op Christmas Food Bank Appeal runs until December 31. The items are collected and made into food parcels containing around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.

As well as festive treats, 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.

The Society works with over 65 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.

Find out more about how Central England Co-op is supporting its communities this Christmas at     


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 with interests in food, funeral, floral 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 £1.4 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 for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

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