Over 365,000 meals for youngsters at risk of holiday hunger will be created this summer thanks to our £100,000 grant to FareShare Midlands.
As part of our Summer Support for Kids campaign, we have handed over the five-figure sum to our food redistribution partner 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.
By working with partners and securing match funding, it can today be revealed that 80,000 meals will be created in Derbyshire, 120,000 in Leicestershire, 50,000 in Nottingham, 80,000 in the West Midlands, 15,000 in East Anglia and 20,000 in Yorkshire.
We are also urging customers and members to support our food bank appeal and donate food items to support those impacted by holiday hunger and, for the first time, items such as arts, crafts and school supplies to help kids with their school work and keep them occupied during the summer months.
In just over two weeks, the food bank appeal has seen over 10,000 items donated across our 260 stores in 16 counties.
Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “We are delighted to see that our donation to FareShare Midlands is going to help create 365,000 meals for youngsters at risk across our entire trading estate.
“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 this donation will have is further proof of the value of continuing to work together to help those in need during the summer months and beyond.
“However, we still need to do more so please, if you can, support our food bank appeal when you visit our stores by popping an item or two into our collection points to further benefit a local food bank partner.
“Now, more than ever, we need to come together as a community and co-operate to ensure that no child goes hungry.”
The campaign comes on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades 1,163,134 children are currently living in poverty and face being impacted by holiday hunger - only 25% of which are actually accessing any kind of support such as free school meal vouchers reinforcing the call that more needs to be done to help.
The appeal will run from now until September and all customers and members have to do is drop items off in special collection points located in every store.
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products. Also, food banks have requested drinks for children, as well as vital sun cream and after sun.
For the first time this year other items needed include small arts and crafts items such as crayons and paints, as well as school supplies such as pencil cases and stationery.