Midcounties Co-op works with local councils to fight school holiday hunger

The society is working with Dudley, Walsall and Shropshire councils to help feed more than 7,000 people

Midcounties Co-op has partnered with three local councils to help feed more than 7,000 children over the summer holidays as part of its mission to tackle food poverty.

The society has joined forces with Dudley CVS and Dudley MBC, Walsall Council and Shropshire Council to create meal boxes to feed a family of four for up to four nights, and deliver them to selected homes, holiday clubs and local libraries across their communities on a weekly basis.

The meals have been designed in partnership with qualified nutritionist and in-store chef Judy Cheyne, who has also developed recipe cards and videos that the children can follow at home.

This latest initiative follows a series of commitments from Midcounties to help deliver food justice, including launching a food bank fund that raised more than £50K during the Covid-19 crisis, joining forces with other co-operatives to campaign for food justice, becoming a member of Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty Taskforce, and continuing to provide essential support to food banks across its communities.

Related: Co-operatives East Midlands discusses food justice at times of crisis

Group CEO Phil Ponsonby said: “Food justice is a real issue and we’re extremely passionate about driving change to ensure that no one is left behind. In the current climate, it’s all too easy for families experiencing financial difficulties to fall into food poverty, and we’re committed to being a leading part of a movement to stop that.

“By working together as a society, with our members, local stakeholders, and like-minded organisations and individuals, we know we can make a difference. I’m extremely proud that these councils have come to us as the partner on this initiative, and we’re delighted that we are able to help.”

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