Funding boost for ‘holiday hunger’ projects providing lifeline to families in Leicester
Three Leicester projects running programmes this summer to support children impacted by holiday hunger have been boosted with funding by Central England Co-op to help them give healthy lunches to youngsters over the school holidays.
Christ the King Foodbank in Beaumont Leys, Mosaic Church in the West End of Leicester and Goldhill Adventure Playground have each been handed £500 in food vouchers by the retailer’s Southern Membership and Community Council (MCC).
The projects run to help tackle the issue of holiday hunger, providing a lifeline to families over the summer holiday period.
Due to the lockdown in the city, although now being eased, these projects are not able to run activities in the same way that they have in previous years but are offering a ‘grab bag’ for children to come and take lunch from outside of the food banks, three times a week.
In normal times they would operate for the entire school holidays but due to the increasing pressures on food banks, they were unable to run a big project this year.
However, the donation of vouchers from Central England Co-op will provide a boost to what they can offer in these uncertain times.
Tim Adkin, a member of the Southern MCC as well as Crisis Food Manager at Action Homeless in the city, said: “These three projects are really keen to support those families who are not entitled to the government support vouchers.
“We are supporting them with £500 of vouchers which is a massive safety net for the food banks allowing them to guarantee healthy lunches are available throughout the school holiday period, even if they have not got enough food donations.”
The donations come as Central England Co-op continues its Summer Support for Kids campaign, a three-month drive to tackle holiday hunger.
It is collecting vital food items to support those impacted by holiday hunger 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.
It has also donated £100,000 to its food redistribution partner FareShare Midlands who are providing food and resources to children over the summer months, plus they will also be campaigning to see a change in Government policy to provide better support for those in need.
Research by FareShare Midlands, based on local authority statistics, has revealed that in the East Midlands, a total of 306,907 children are currently living in poverty and face being impacted by holiday hunger.
People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community in response to Coronavirus by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates
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, 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 serving our 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
Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle
Phone - 01543 421390