Co-op customers help create over 218,000 meals for people at risk of going hungry

Central England Co-op shoppers enjoying a treat over Easter by enjoying the retailer’s Irresistible product range have helped raise almost £55,000 to feed people at risk of going hungry.

From 29 March to 11 April, any purchase made in the retailer’s over 260 food stores of products from its Irresistible range saw it donate five per cent from the sale of each product to FareShare Midlands to help ensure families struggling in these uncertain times this spring.

This saw customers and members pick up thousands of items from Easter eggs to hot cross buns resulting in a total donation to FareShare Midlands of £55,000 – helping to provide over 218,000 meals to ensure people at risk continue to eat well and stay healthy.

This link-up between Central England Co-op and FareShare Midlands over Easter came as figures from End Child Poverty prior to the Covid-19 pandemic show the scale of the issue of food poverty in the UK with over one million children deemed to be in poverty across the 16 counties Central England Co-op trades*. It is feared this will only have worsened during the last 12 months.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op corporate responsibility Manager, said: “We are so delighted to see the generosity of our customers and members shine through once again by raising £55,000 for FareShare Midlands at a time when it continues to receive such high levels of demand.

“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.

“By making the choice to purchase delicious items from our Irresistible range over the Easter period our shoppers have given a boost to so many families in need in their own communities.”

Simone Connolly, director for FareShare Midlands, said: “Our partnership with Central England Co-op over the years has provided remarkable support towards our work to fight hunger, and food waste across the Midlands.

“This Easter period was no different, the generosity of Central England Co-op in their offering of 5% of sales from their Irresistible range is greatly appreciated. Through the initiative, and thanks to its wonderful customers, we are able to redistribute an additional 218,116 meals to families and individuals facing food poverty.

“To many, the frontline charities we supply our food to is a lifeline; thank you Central England Co-op and to those who shopped from the Irresistible range”.

Meanwhile, thousands of items have also been donated by customers and members to support Central England Co-op’s Spring Food Bank Appeal which is continuing with items able to be dropped off in donation points in the retailer’s stores.

Donations are being collected up and used to create food parcels by local food banks, which contain around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.

This continued focus on tackling food justice 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 hungry throughout the year.