Hundreds more vulnerable people throughout our communities are to be helped thanks to the expansion of our ground-breaking food distribution scheme.
In the last few weeks we have been working with two councils to help get food and essentials to some of the most vulnerable people - and we can reveal this has now been expanded once again.
In a scheme we are eventually looking to roll out across much of our estate, we can now reveal we are now also working with Derby City Council to launch this valuable service.
The community food hub, which is already available in two of our stores in Lichfield and Stafford, will now also be available at our Littleover Food Store in Burton Road, Derby.
We have linked up with council workers to identify vulnerable community members, gather orders and pass them onto the store.
Our colleagues then create a package and take payment from the customer over the phone before the local authority delivers the goods.
The rollout of the project with Derby City Council is part of our plan to create similar projects based out of community hub stores across our 16 counties we trade in and even farther afield on a national scale.
Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive of Central England Co-op, said: “Co-operation is key to our communities coming together during this uncertain time and this is why we have linked up with Derby City Council to launch this pioneering scheme during this uncertain time.
“This unique project will see the council contact vulnerable people in the community and work with us to deliver food and essentials to them.
“This is a great example of communities and organisations coming together at a time of need and creating a solution that will make a difference.
“Our trials in Lichfield and Stafford have been and continue to be a great success. This is why we have now been able to launch in Derby with our great partner Derby City Council to help more people in the local area.
“We have further plans in place to rapidly roll out this out across other locations to make sure we support as many people as we can in the coming weeks.”
Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic we are all faced with obstacles and are having to live in a very different way to what we are used to. Unfortunately, for some people in the city, these difficulties extend to accessing vital resources such as food.
“We’re very glad to have organised a method of supporting those in need to ensure they have access to food and appreciate the coordination and enthusiasm of all partners and volunteers across Derby.”
To find out more, visit www.derby.gov.uk/coronavirus