Appeal to end child hunger has helped create 14,000 meals for kids in Leicestershire
A plea has been issued to shoppers to continue to support a food bank appeal aimed at making sure children do not go hungry this summer after providers reveal an unprecedented rise in demand for help - despite enough food for over 14,000 meals already being donated by generous shoppers in Leicestershire.
Central England Co-op marked the halfway point of its 12-week Summer Food Bank Appeal by revealing that over 50,000 items have been handed over by kind-hearted customers at special collection points in Food Stores.
However, food bank providers are now urging people to keep on donating one or more items – ranging from food to toiletries – as an major rise in demand has resulted in some coming close to running out on food and being unable to help children at risk of going hungry.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We are so proud of the generosity of our customers who have donated enough food to help over 14,000 children in just a matter of weeks.
“However our food bank partners are now telling us that, even with the increased levels of donations, some are close to running out of vital items so we still need people to back our campaign.
“All of us here at Central England Co-operative want to urge customers and members to continue to support our Summer Food Bank Appeal and make sure that children do not go hungry during the holidays.”
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products
The items will then be used to create either bigger food parcels for families with children or to provide special packed lunches for projects that tackle holiday hunger during the summertime.
Holiday hunger revolves around a rise in demand from families who see the safety net of free school meals removed during the summer holidays.
This often leaves people trying to stretch their budgets in order to eat and in some cases going without proper food during the holidays.
In Leicestershire, figures from End Child Poverty revealed that 50,772 children were at risk of falling into holiday hunger during 2018.
Tim Adkin, from Action Homeless, said: “We cannot thank people enough for their amazing donations but we would ask for them to please continue their support during the summer to ensure that we can help children at risk of going hungry.
“Just one item being donated at a Central England Co-op Food Store this summer can make a real difference to a youngster who is struggling for food in Leicestershire.”
A film has been produced to showcase the importance of supporting food banks this summer. It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4OYW4yzQnk
A full list of the stores taking part in the appeal can be found by visiting www.centralengland.coop/summer
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Central England Co-operative colleague Yvonne Adams is urging customers and members to continue to support the Summer Food Bank Appeal.
Picture caption: Young shopper Noah Bailey is backing the Central England Co-op Summer Food Bank Appeal.
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 2018.
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 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.
For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative
Rob Smyth / Heather Clapton at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140