Marcus Rashford lends support to Co-op to boost food bank donations

England international footballer Marcus Rashford has lent his support to Co-op, helping to boost urgently needed food bank donations as demand triples in some towns and cities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis, with many household incomes hit as millions of workers are furloughed and businesses close.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is a longstanding supporter of FareShare and has made significant personal donations, whilst Co-op has launched a nationwide appeal to raise funds for the charity, with the striker making a one-off appearance in a new advert, created by Lucky Generals, which airs online from today (Tuesday 5 May 2020) and will be shown on major TV channels from Thursday (7 May 2020).

The Co-op appeal has already helped fund millions of meals for needy families as demand surges for free food provided by food banks, as customers contribute through text and in store donation options, whilst the convenience retailer’s 4.6 million members are also being called upon to support the campaign. Co-op members receive a 5 per cent reward every time they buy an own-brand product or service which is held in an online wallet and can be redeemed on future purchases, and they can now go online to donate the existing money in their wallet to the Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund.

England International Marcus Rashford said: “This project is a personal one for me. We are working to keep food on the table for children like me 10 years ago – children who rely on free school meals. Whilst that is my particular focus, FareShare is doing a great job of distributing food to a lot of other vulnerable people across the UK with the help of partners such as Co-op. Being from Manchester, I was happy to offer my voice to the Co-op for this video campaign – coming together we are so much stronger.”

Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food, said: “In this time of crisis, we are seeing our communities pull together to really show that a little co-operation by many, can make a big difference to support those who are struggling. We’re determined to do everything we can to support those getting food to those who are most vulnerable. Along with our customers and members we have donated monies and food to enable 2 million meals to be shared with those who need it most, but much more is needed.”

“Foodbanks are a lifeline for those who rely on the donations to feed their families and demand for their services has seen a huge increase since the pandemic started. This is only set to grow as the number of people who unexpectedly find themselves without a regular or a reduced income gets higher.”

“We are grateful to Marcus for giving his time and influence to raise awareness of how easy we have made it to donate to the charity we both support”

Donations can be made in three ways:  

– Co-op customers will be offered the option of donating to FareShare at the till point in amounts of either 50p/£1/£2/£5.  

-Texting ‘MEALS’ to 70490 which will automatically donate £10 to FareShare. 

-Co-op members can visit Co-op website, log onto their members account and choose to donate all or part of their online wallet to the Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund.

For the first advert of the campaign, the convenience retailer pulled its Easter TV advertising campaign, which was originally promoting its chocolate eggs, and donated the airtime – worth £2.5 million – to fight hunger by promoting the work of charity FareShare.