Michael Sheen backs Co-op campaign to try and put an end to child poverty this summer

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen has backed Central England Co-op’s campaign to try and ensure that children do not go hungry this summer.

The star, known for a range of film and TV roles including the Twilight Saga, The Queen, Good Omens and Frost versus Nixon, urged people to donate items of food to the Summer Support for Kids campaign and help youngsters impacted by holiday hunger.

The retailer, which has over 260 stores across 16 counties, has been running the three-month food bank campaign since the start of July and it comes on the back of research, by FareShare Midlands, that shows that across the 16 counties it trades 1,163,134 children are currently living in poverty and face being impacted by food poverty.

The campaign sees customers drop off food items at their local store which are then collected by local food banks and turned into meals for children who would normally be enjoying free school meals.

Lifelong co-operator Michael said: “Please back this worthwhile campaign by Central England Co-op and help our co-operative community make a difference this summer and beyond.”

The appeal runs until September. Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products. Also, food banks have requested drinks for children, as well as vital sun cream and after sun.

For the first time this year other items needed include small arts and crafts items such as crayons and paints, as well as school supplies such as pencil cases and stationery.

Society President Elaine Dean praised the acting star for his backing of this important campaign.

She said: “I’m delighted that such a prestigious actor as Michael Sheen is backing our Summer Support for Kids campaign.

“I was honoured to meet him at Co-op Congress in 2017 where he was a delegate from South Wales. “He is a true co-operator who has never forgotten his working class roots despite the accolades which have come his way after playing iconic figures like Brian Clough and Tony Blair.”

Central England Co-op has also donated £100,000 to its food redistribution partner FareShare Midlands who will be providing food and resources to children over the summer months, plus they will also be campaigning to see a change in Government policy to provide better support for those in need.

The cash will pay for over 365,000 meals to be created this summer for youngsters in need.

Keep up-to-date with the campaign by visiting www.centralengland.coop