Midcounties Co-operative Society is back in full operation following last week's devastating floods, thanks to some help from the Co-operative Group. The society was forced to close its chilled distribution centre in Osney Mead, Oxford, for eight days due to flooding. Despite the closure, deliveries and supplies to stores were unaffected because Midcounties called on the Co-op Group's logistics arm, Co-operative Retail Logistics (CRL), for help. "When the Midcounties Co-op depot flooded on Monday 23 July, an emergency plan was put into action," a Co-op Group spokeswoman said. "CRL took over distribution to Midcounties and by Wednesday lorries were delivering fresh foods to all stores." The Osney Mead centre serves the society's 150 food stores across Gloucester­shire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire. Mid­counties said it had reopened on Tuesday 31 July, with repair work taking place throughout the week. The society's HQ in Botley, Oxford, has also reopened after flood risk forced the offices to close for four days. However, its store in Slad Road, Stroud, which was hit by a flash flood, was expected to remain closed for a further two weeks. Midcounties Co-op has also launched a £25,000 Flood Victim Support Fund to support members of the society affected by flooding. Up to £100 per household will be made available to members. The scheme is expected to run for the next few weeks, with cash distributed to applicants as quickly as possible. Midcounties Co-op members will also be invited to donate to the fund. Asda workers who have been affected by the floods can also apply for a grant to help them recover personal losses. So far 72 colleagues have received £1,000 from the supermarket's fund. Meanwhile, the floods have led to the fastest year-on-year sales of ready meals in the past two years as consumers opted for convenience, says Northern Foods. In the four weeks ending 15 July the total ready-meal market rose 12.2%. The strongest growth was in flood-hit areas. Sales of ready meals in the West Country, which included Tewkesbury and Gloucester, were up 14% and sales in Oxfordshire and Berkshire were up by 34%.