Co-op customers help create almost 128,000 meals for people at risk of going hungry thanks to £32,000 donation to FareShare

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 08/09/2021

Central England Co-op shoppers have helped raise almost £32,000 to feed people at risk of going hungry after heeding the call to ‘go bananas’ over the summer holidays.

Between July 17 to August 28, any purchase of Fairtrade bananas made in the retailer’s 262 food stores saw Central England Co-op donate 10 per cent of the sale to FareShare Midlands to help ensure families struggling in these uncertain times are supported.

Customers and members once again showed their generosity and desire to support their communities by picking up a bunch resulting in a total donation to FareShare Midlands of almost £32,000 – helping to provide nearly 128,000 meals to ensure people at risk continue to eat well and stay healthy.

This link-up between Central England Co-op and FareShare Midlands over the summer holidays came as figures from End Child Poverty prior to the Covid-19 pandemic show the scale of the issue of food poverty in the UK with over one million children deemed to be in poverty across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades*. It is feared this will only have worsened during the last 18 months.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “We are so delighted to see the generosity of our customers and members shine through once again by raising almost £32,000 for FareShare Midlands at a time when it continues to receive such high levels of demand.

“Our long-standing relationship with FareShare has had a life-changing impact for people in our communities in the years we have been working together and as the demand for support continues to grow during these uncertain times, we are proud to stand with them to help those in need.

“By making the choice to buy some of our fantastic Fairtrade bananas over the summer holidays our shoppers have given a boost to so many families in need in their own communities.”

Simone Connolly, director for FareShare Midlands said: “Once again we have been amazed by the generosity of Central England Coop customers and members. With their support we’re able to distribute 128,000 meals to people who are struggling to make ends meet.

“As uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic remains and thousands of families are affected through job loss and financial insecurity, this donation comes at a crucial time and will make a huge difference to people’s lives.” 

This continued focus on tackling food justice by Central England Co-op compliments years of work by the retailer and its partners to try and alleviate the issue in its communities.

It has long campaigned for more to be done to ensure that no child ever goes hungry and works with over 65 food banks as well as FareShare Midlands to help create hundreds of thousands of meals for those at risk falling hungry throughout the year.




Notes to editors


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*Child poverty figures by area (data supplied from End Child Poverty Initiative 2019)


Bedfordshire                   60,385

Cambridgeshire               72,085

Derbyshire                       63,653

Leicestershire                  73,893

Lincolnshire                     45,334

Norfolk                              60,385

Northamptonshire          45,479

Nottinghamshire             78,546

Rutland                             1,752

South Yorkshire               102,318

Staffordshire                   119,705

Suffolk                               47,588

Warwickshire                  74,918

West Midlands               81,951

West Yorkshire               195,581

Worcestershire               41,311



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.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.


Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.


It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.


The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 


It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.


Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


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