Central England Co-op urges people to donate a festive treat as part of Christmas Food Bank Appeal

Central England Co-op is urging customers and members to donate festive treats and everyday items as part of its 2020 Christmas Food Bank Appeal to help people in need.

The retailer worked closely with over 65 food bank providers last year to collect over 40,000 items as part of a special campaign and this year hopes that customers and members are able to dig deep and donate again in the run-up to Christmas.

Alongside items such as tea, tinned fruit and toiletries, people are also encouraged to ‘spread a little festive cheer’ in these uncertain times by dropping off a Christmas treat such as chocolate into collection points at over 240 stores across 16 counties.

The campaign is launching as the Society’s Christmas Toybox Appeal continues in its stores as it looks to support people struggling this festive period to have a happy Christmas with their families after the challenges that 2020 has provided.

Central England Co-operative chief executive Debbie Robinson said: “I know our customers and members will give their backing to making sure our Christmas Food Bank Appeal can make a real difference to families struggling in these uncertain times.

“Over the past few years, the appeal has supported our food bank partners to create and provide thousands of meals to help people in need over the Christmas period and sadly this year that need has only grown as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hits people across our communities.

“The campaign relies on the wonderful generosity of our customers and members and I would like to encourage them to again show their co-operative spirit, so our food bank partners can provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis.

“We are also issuing a plea on behalf of food banks to help spread a little Christmas cheer by donating a nice treat into our special collection points.

“All we are asking is for people, if they can, to drop off one or more items into our food bank collection points this Christmas and help make a real difference in their community.”

The Christmas Food Bank Appeal will run from November 30 to December 31. The items will then be collected and made into food parcels.

These contain around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.

Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products to ensure people can maintain their dignity during times of crisis.

Among the food banks Central England Co-op support are Action Homeless in Leicester, House of Bread in Stafford, Sawtry Food bank in Cambridgeshire, Kettering Food Bank, Norwich Food bank, the Hope Centre in Derby, Hope Nottingham, South Derbyshire CVS, Bethany Food bank in Birmingham and the Welcome Centre in Yorkshire.

The Society works with over 65 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.

To find out more about how Central England Co-op is supporting its communities this Christmas at www.centralengland.coop/food/christmas