40,000 items donated to summer food bank appeal in just one month thanks to Co-op customers
‘Thank you but please keep donating so children don’t go hungry’ is the message after the first month of Central England Co-op’s Summer Support for Kids appeal saw over 40,000 items donated by kind-hearted customers.
The scheme, which runs until September, is an annual drive to collect vital food items to support those impacted by holiday hunger in local Co-op stores and, for the first time, is urging people to donate items such as arts, crafts and school supplies to help kids with their school work and keep them occupied during the summer months.
In just four weeks, donations have already outstripped last year and look on course for a record total, meaning thousands more children will not have to go hungry or struggle to be entertained and educated.
These donations will be shared out between over 65 food banks across the following areas: West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “The response to our campaign, especially during these uncertain times, has been amazing and is a real credit to all of our customers, members and colleagues.
“This first raft of donations will most importantly ensure youngsters continue to be able to eat this summer and also allow them to be entertained and educated along the way.
“Thank you but please keep donating so children don’t go hungry. Our food bank partners are busier than ever and this is why we need you, if you can, to drop an item of two at our collection points in stores this summer and help us make a big and long-lasting impact.”
The campaign comes on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades 1,163,134 children are currently living in poverty and face being impacted by food poverty.
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products. Also, food banks have requested drinks for children, as well as vital sun cream and after sun.
For the first time this year other items needed include small arts and crafts items such as crayons and paints, as well as school supplies such as pencil cases and stationery.
Central England Co-op has also donated £100,000 to its food redistribution partner FareShare Midlands who will be providing food and resources to children over the summer months, plus the retailer will also be campaigning to see a change in Government policy to provide better support for those in need.
The campaign has also had backing from Hollywood with star of the big and small screen Michael Sheen, best known for roles including the Twilight Saga, The Queen, Good Omens and Frost versus Nixon, urging people to donate items of food to the Summer Support for Kids campaign and help youngsters impacted by holiday hunger.
Notes to editors
Below is a breakdown of some of the food banks that will receive donations as a result of the appeal and the number of youngsters in that area currently living in poverty.
- In Burton and South Derbyshire, Harvey Girls, in Burton, and South Derbyshire CVS are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 15,316 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Bedfordshire, The Need Project is among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 60,385 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Cambridgeshire, Cambridge City Food bank, Peterborough Food bank and Yaxley Food bank are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 72,085 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In the East Midlands, Arnold Food Bank, in Nottingham, Hope Centre, in Derby, Kettering Food Bank and Action Homeless, in Leicester are among the food banks that will benefit from donations.
- A total of 306,907 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- Norwich Food Bank will be one of the recipients of donations in Norfolk and Suffolk.
- A total of 107,973 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Stoke and Stafford, the following food banks will benefit from this campaign - House of Bread and Trussell Trust Rugeley Food Bank.
- A total of 119,705 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- Ediblelinks will be the main beneficiary of donations from stores in the Warwickshire area.
- A total of 74,918 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In the West Midlands, B30 Food Bank, Lichfield Food Bank and Northfield Community Partnership will be among the organisations to benefit from donations.
- A total of 201,686 children currently live in poverty in this area.
- In Yorkshire, The Welcome Centre, based in Huddersfield, is among the organisations that will benefit from the donations.
- A total of 297,889 children currently live in poverty in this area.
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
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