Co-op looks to create 500,000 meals for children this Christmas with special charity campaign

Posted by james brindle | Published: 03/11/2021

Central England Co-op shoppers can show ‘goodwill to all’ this Christmas by enjoying the retailer’s Irresistible product range and helping to raise money to create 500,000 meals for children.

From November 3, any purchase made in the retailer’s 263 food stores of products from its Irresistible range will see Central England Co-op donate to FareShare Midlands to help ensure families struggling in these uncertain times can enjoy Christmas without fear of going hungry.

The Society is continuing to work with long-term partner FareShare Midlands to provide vital food during the winter months that will help ensure people at risk continue to eat well and stay healthy, particularly the 1.2 million children living in poverty in its trading area.

Already this year, Central England Co-op has donated over £87,000 to FareShare Midlands thanks to its customers and members backing its campaigns to support the charity’s work with families in need.

Last Christmas through the retailer’s Christmas campaign, its customers helped create over 444,000 meals thanks to a £111,000 donation to FareShare.

With FareShare expecting this winter to be even more challenging for many families they work with, as they face up to the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising living costs, Central England Co-op is determined to create even more meals for children in need this Christmas.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “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.

“Christmas is the time of goodwill to all and therefore we are delighted to continue our work with FareShare on this campaign to tackle food poverty and help provide a Christmas boost for the families it works with.

“We know our kind-hearted customers will be more than willing to support this campaign by picking up products from our fantastic Irresistible range in their local shop, and by doing so giving the charity a boost and helping families in need at this special time of the year.”

Co-op’s popular Irresistible range covers a huge array of products including lots of festive treats such as Co-op Irresistible Mince Pies, Co-op Irresistible Yule Log, Co-op Irresistible Christmas Pudding and Co-op Irresistible Pigs in Blankets, as well as all-year round favourites such as Co-op Irresistible Triple Chocolate Cookies and Co-op Irresistible Prosecco.

This continued focus on tackling food poverty 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 into food poverty throughout the year.

Simone Connolly, Director of FareShare Midlands, said: “We cannot thank Central England Co-op enough for their commitment to FareShare Midlands and its ongoing support of our vulnerable communities.

“The Co-op’s festive range is something customers look forward to all year round. We are truly grateful to the Co-op and their big-hearted customers, who share their festive joy by making these purchases.

“While some people have returned to a kind of normality, the impact of Covid-19 continues to affect others; with many still facing job losses, poverty and food insecurity. Every penny raised at this special time of year, helps us to get vital food supplies to families in desperate need.”

More details about Christmas at Central England Co-op can be found at


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 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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