Kind-hearted communities have donated over 30,000 items to an urgent food bank appeal in less than two weeks to help those impacted by Coronavirus.
Central England Co-op launched the campaign after its food bank partners revealed they had seen donations drop and demand risk.
However, despite the amazing community response to the appeal, food banks have pleaded with people to continue to donate vital items as supplies continue to remain low and demand continues to rise by the day.
On average, food banks are seeing a 50% fall in donations coupled with a 100% rise in requests for food parcels with new enquiries coming from people who are self isolating, self employed and families who have children that would normally be getting free school meals.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “Our communities continue to do us proud and support this vital food bank appeal.
“Our food bank partners are working around the clock to react to a rise in demand and we can all support in our own little way by donating an item or two so they can carry on their great work during these uncertain times.”
Items needed for the food bank appeal include cereal, tinned food and fruit, tea bags, dried pasta, rice, long life milk, sugar, biscuits, fruit juice and squash, pasta sauce and instant coffee.
Donations will be collected up from Central England Co-op stores and used to create food parcels, which contain around 11 items and will provide at least three days’ worth of meals for those in need.
Jo Lambourne, from Hope for Belper, in Derbyshire, said: “We would like to thank everybody who has continued to donate to the food bank in this difficult time, we have been overwhelmed by your generosity and the sheer amount of donations coming in.
“However, sadly we are also seeing a significant increase in need and the number of referrals we are receiving each week is rising steadily so please continue to donate whenever you can so that we can continue to provide this essential service – thank you.”
People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting www.centralengland.coop/updates