Central England Co-op launches urgent summer appeal to support food banks during school holidays in Lichfield
Posted by james brindle | Published: 26/07/2022
Central England Co-op is launching an urgent summer appeal to help boost the stocks of food banks in its communities and tackle the issue of holiday hunger during the school break.
The retailer has special collection points in over 200 of its stores where its customers and members can donate all year round, however it hopes to boost food bank supplies as they face soaring demand during the summer holiday period and due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Most requested items currently include UHT Milk, long-life juice, pasta sauce, sponge puddings, tinned fruit and vegetables, tinned meat and fish, rice pudding, washing up liquid and many food banks are also keen to receive toiletries such as deodorant and toothpaste.
The items donated are collected up, turned into parcels with enough food to create meals for three days and distributed to help people in need across Central England Co-op’s trading area.
Store Manager Jamie Joyce said: “We’ve had an amazing response to previous appeals to support our food bank partners at crucial times of the year and we know from speaking to them that sadly the demand is only growing for their services. The summer holidays is always a particularly busy time anyway with children off school and not able to receive free school meals if they’re eligible.
“This is why everyone involved at Central England Co-op is asking members and customers, if they can, to dig deep and help support some great and vital local good causes who are providing a lifeline to people in need in your community.”
Central England Co-op’s food bank partners across the country have reported that they are clearly seeing the impact of the rising cost-of-living and also that although demand for their services is rising, supplies are diminishing, and they are in urgent need of support.
In Lichfield, Central England Co-op has responded to Lichfield Foodbank’s public appeal for stock after it found levels running low, by making a special donation.
It’s Western Membership and Community Council (MCC) have donated £500 worth of food and essentials to the food bank, £161 of which was collected by members of the cast of the Lichfield Garrick Community Musical Robin Hood during a special trolley dash at the Boley Park Co-op store.
James Knight, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “We have close links to Lichfield Foodbank through the collection points we have at all our stores in the city, so when we saw their appeal, we were determined to support them.
“It was great that we could involve the Robin Hood cast with us sponsoring the show and hope this donation can kick off our summer food bank appeal and support those in need in the community.”
David Clarke, from Lichfield Foodbank, said: “Lichfield Foodbank is very busy; we have seen an increase of more than 80% in the number of clients coming to us in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year and demand continues to be high.
“The continuing challenges in the cost-of-living are making times hard for our clients and in many cases for our donors too. We are very grateful to local people for all the food they donate.”
Central England Co-op’s Summer Food Bank Appeal will run right across the summer holiday period and people can find their nearest Central England Co-op store at https://stores.centralengland.coop
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 and property investment.
Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
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 contact: James Brindle, Public Relations Lead
Contact details: email firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone 07392 080028.