Central England Coop food bank

The food bank appeal saw about 141,000 items donated by customers from June to August. 

Customers of Central England Co-operative stores have donated enough food and drink products over the summer to feed around 35,000 children and families in need.

The society’s summer food bank appeal, introduced in a bid to reduce hunger over the summer break, saw about 141,000 items donated by customers from June to August.

It partnered with charities, encouraged customers to donate food, drink and toiletries after their shops, and installed food bank collection points at more than 400 stores as part of the campaign. Items collected were distributed to the society’s 50 food bank partners and families in need, and formed part of either bigger food parcels for families with children, or packed lunches for charitable projects.

The appeal was designed in response to 85% of Central England Co-op’s food bank partners reporting surging demand from struggling families over the school holidays.

“We have been astonished by the generosity of our customers and members in their support of our summer food bank appeal and I would like to thank every person who found the time to donate to this vital campaign,” said Central England Co-operative chief executive Martyn Cheatle. “This will have had a major impact for youngsters at risk of going hungry this summer.”

The Central England Co-op works alongside food bank partners throughout the year to help reduce food waste and hunger, and Cheatle has urged its customers and members to donate items they can spare to the collection points in its stores to ensure the “vital support continues for people in need”.

Since the beginning of 2018, the society and its 50 food bank partners have collected a total of more than 200,000 items through campaigns.