Important partnership between Co-op and FareShare sees record-breaking two million meals handed to those in need

An ongoing partnership between Central England Co-op and FareShare Midlands has resulted in the creation of over two million meals for those in need during the pandemic.

The retailer has worked closely with long-term partner FareShare Midlands for several years now to provide vital food that ensures people at risk continue to eat well and stay healthy via a pioneering food redistribution project.

This normally results in one million meals a year being created for charities and community groups to hand out every year but, due to Covid-19, Central England Co-op decided to make a series of donations to FareShare Midlands that has seen the levels of meals created more than double.

At the start of the first national lockdown, the Society made a five-figure donation to pay for extra transport and staffing costs to make sure that more emergency food packages continued to be delivered to those in need.

This resulted in 22,245 people receiving 297,500 meals from 1 April to 30 June via local good causes.

Over 365,000 meals for youngsters at risk of holiday hunger were then created last summer  as part of the retailer’s Summer Support for Kids campaign.

It handed over £100,000 to provide food and resources to children over the summer months and for campaigning to see a change in Government policy to provide better support for those in need.

Sales of 4,900 ghost pumpkins at Halloween allowed for a further £2,300 to be donated and 5,500 meals created.

During the run up to Christmas, the retailer pledged to donate 5% from the sale of every item sold in its Irresistible range. This resulted in a donation of over £131,000, creating over half a million extra meals during the festive season.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with FareShare Midlands and the life-changing impact we have been able to have over the past few years of working together and are delighted to have had this opportunity to give an extra boost to their work alongside our day-to-day work in partnership during the most recent difficult and uncertain times.

“We are proud of the amazing relationship we have had with such a great organisation for several years now and the reach and impact that these donations will have is further proof of the value of continuing to work together to help those in need during the summer months and beyond.”

Central England Co-op already works with FareShare Midlands on a ground-breaking food redistribution project that sees all best before food items and non-food goods that cannot be sold taken to the Society’s Food Distribution Centre, in Leicester, where it is then delivered to FareShare who send them to support dozens of local charities all year round.

Simon Connolly, FareShare Midlands Director, said: “With 2020 being such a strenuous year for most people and​ organisations, including FareShare Midlands, we are extremely grateful for the continuous support that Central England Co-op give to our operation across the region.

“With their support we have been able to supply a record-breaking amount of quality surplus food to those who have struggled due to the pandemic. Our partnership goes well beyond 2020, but it is during last year that our collaboration has been most essential.

“We’d like to thank Central England Co-op and all of their members for their dedication and generosity.

“As we move on into 2021 we look forward to continuing our partnership to support vulnerable men, women and children across the Midlands.”



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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 7,550 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 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. 


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.


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Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


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