Central England Co-op is today launching its Summer Food Bank Appeal to help tackle holiday hunger as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to bite.
The retailer, which has over 260 stores across 16 counties, is kicking off its annual drive to collect vital food items which will run from now right across the summer holiday period to help support those impacted by holiday hunger.
As the communities Central England Co-op serve continue to feel the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the retailer’s food bank partners are continuing to see demand soaring and that is only expected to increase over the summer holidays.
Hannah Gallimore, Central England Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “We have now been working with our food bank partners to try and combat holiday hunger for many years, yet we continue to see demand for food bank support spike as what they now offer has sadly become a permanent solution rather than an emergency response.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of our members and customers to ensure children do not go hungry every single summer with their phenomenal support for our food bank appeals and know they will do everything they can to support once again.
“We are asking people when they shop with us to, if they can, to pick up an extra couple of items to drop into our special collection points which will be used to create vital meals this summer - any donation will make an ever-lasting impact for those in need.”
The appeal will run from now until September and all customers and members have to do is drop items off in special collection points located in every store.
The retailer’s food bank partners have spoken about the continued demand for their services as the impact of the pandemic continues to bite and how they expect a busy summer.
Anne Cole, B30 Foodbank manager in Birmingham, said: “This has been a year of unparalleled challenge, concern and constant change but we are proud that B30 Foodbank has provided emergency food to local people in crisis every Tuesday and Friday, as normal, throughout the year.
“We expect to see the demand for food rise considerably as the furloughing scheme ends and redundancies are declared, so the support of Central England Co-op shoppers is very much appreciated. We are already seeing clients who are shocked at their change in circumstances and never expected to be visiting a foodbank.”
Items that can be donated to the appeal include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products, as well as useful items such as drinks for children and sun cream and after sun.
The retailer has been running its summer campaign to tackle holiday hunger for the past three years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of donations and packages of food and essentials being handed out.
Central England Co-operative has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores all year round.
The Society works with over 65 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.
Keep up-to-date with the campaign by visiting www.centralengland.coop/summer-of-love