We want to say a big thank you to our customers and members for helping to create over 100,000 vital food and care packages for youngsters at risk of going hungry this summer.
Our first ever Summer Support for Kids campaign ran from the start of June and we asked people to donate everything from shopping basket staples to small arts and crafts in an effort keep children at risk of holiday hunger fed, educated and entertained during these uncertain times.
The campaign came on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties we trade 1,163,134 children currently live in poverty and are impacted by holiday hunger.
As part of the campaign, we also donated £100,000 to FareShare Midlands to help it provide further resources to children as well as helping its effort to lobby the government to provide better permanent support for those in need.
Today, it can be revealed that the Summer Support for Kids campaign and donation to FareShare Midlands has helped create over 100,000 meal and care packages for children at risk of food poverty in just three months.
The care packages handed out by over 65 different food bank partners included drinks, healthy snacks, treats as well as sun cream, after sun, crayons, paints and pencil cases.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Thank you to our customers and members for their backing of our Summer Support for Kids campaign.
“Just by shopping with us, they have allowed us to generate the funds necessary to make a life-changing donation to FareShare that has ensured they have been able to support children and families who live in the community around your local co-op.
“This donation, coupled by all the items customers and members have dropped off at our stores, means we have been able to support the creation of 100,000 meal and care packages for children who otherwise might have missed out.
“But this campaign has also been about more than just supporting those at the point of need and it has also been about addressing the fact that food bank support has sadly become a permanent solution rather than an emergency response.
“We all want to get to a point where we do not have to rely on the generosity of our members and customers to ensure children do not go hungry every single summer and this is why we continue to call on the Government to urgently address this problem.
“We now need more change from the Government before it is too late to support the young people in our area who fall outside the current support system.”
Recently, we joined forces with several other major retailers to be part of a Child Food Poverty Task Force launched by England footballer Marcus Rashford to continue its effort to see that more is done to ensure no child ever goes hungry.
We work 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.
We have food bank collection points in its stores all year round.
Customers and members are asked to continue to support these vital causes by donating items such as shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products.