Central England Co-operative has issued a plea to shoppers to continue donating items to its Summer Food Bank Appeal – after communities warned that unprecedented levels of youngsters are going short of food during the school holidays.
The retailer has reached the halfway point of its three-month food bank appeal, which has already gathered 80,000 items from customers and members at special collection points in food stores.
This has supplied the society’s food bank partners with enough food to create meals for over 20,000 youngsters and families this summer.
However, community groups and charities are now urging people to keep donating food and toiletries – after a major rise in demand left some close to running out of food and becoming unable to help children living in poverty.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-operative chief executive, said: “We are so proud of the generosity of our customers and members who have donated enough food to help more than 20,000 children and their families in just a matter of weeks.
“All of us here at Central England Co-operative urge customers and members to continue to support our Summer Food Bank Appeal and make sure that children do not go hungry during the holidays.”
Items that can be donated include shopping basket staples from tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products. The food is then used to create either bigger food parcels for families with children, or to provide special packed lunches for projects that tackle holiday hunger during the summertime.
The Summer Food Bank Appeal is running until 15 September, with special collection points currently in place in over 200 stores.
Central England Co-operative has permanent food bank collection points in hundreds of its stores and works with over 50 different food banks to provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis throughout the year.