Central England Co-operative is urging customers and members to help bring a little festive cheer to those in need by supporting its Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
The Society already works with dozens of foodbank providers in hundreds of food stores across the year to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis.
Watch video HERE
But, this festive season, Central England Co-op is kick-starting a renewed effort to encourage people to drop off one or more items into store foodbanks during 15 November to 20 December.
The items will then be collected and distributed among the communities in which we serve.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “As a Society we are committed to working with local foodbanks across our trading area to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.
“As a community retailer, we are aware that there are many people experiencing financial difficulties who may turn to foodbanks as a means of providing for themselves and their families.
“This is why we are launching our Christmas Foodbank Appeal to encourage our customers and members to help provide meals for people across the area in need during the festive season.
“All we are asking is that people drop off one or more items into our foodbanks this Christmas and help make a real difference in their community.”
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products to ensure people can maintain their dignity during times of crisis.
During Christmas 2013, Central England Co-operative Society trialled an in-store food bank collection and such was its success that the Society now has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores.
The store foodbanks have resulted in thousands of people every month from Birmingham to Norfolk being given enough food to cook meals.
Paul Brookhouse, from the Hope Centre, in Derby, operates a weekly foodbank for people in need in the city.
Through a link-up with Central England Co-op he now provides over 80 food parcels of varying sizes every week and is backing the Society’s Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
He said: “We have to remember that there are people who are in very difficult situations who need our help and support.
“If people are able to donate we plead with them to do so and buy a few extra items.
“Just one tin would make a huge difference to help us as a foodbank ensure that people do not go hungry.”
Hear Paul talk about the importance of supporting foodbanks at Christmas in a specially created film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7pv5AJbjw
The Christmas Foodbank Appeal will run from 15 November to 20 December and items can be dropped off in special Christmas tree bins at Central England Co-op food stores.
A full list of the stores taking part in the appeal can be found by visiting www.centralengland.coop/beingcoopy