As the cost of living crisis continues to escalate, pushing families into food poverty, East of England Co-op has made an appeal for food bank donations as part of its Shop & Share campaign.
The appeal comes ahead of the school summer holidays, which adds to pressure on struggling families as children miss out on a free school lunch. To make matters harder, donations to food banks drop to typically less than half those of donations at peak periods, such as Christmas. Much-needed items such as long-life milk, washing powder and canned desserts can fall to very low levels leading to shortfalls at food banks.
Photos issued for the Shop and Share campaign illustrate this with typical examples of food bank donations at Christmas, and the smaller contributions made during summer.
The co-op’s joint CEO Niall O’Keeffe said: “It has never been more important to support families in crisis with a donation to a food bank. In the image we have created, we wanted to demonstrate the impact on food banks when donations of important items, ranging from canned fruit to deodorant, drop to worryingly low levels in the summer months. Across the region we support 24 food banks, working daily to help everyone in our community access good, nutritional and affordable food.
“We are asking customers to shop and share where they can and help us support their local community by donating to local food banks using the collection points in store.”
Michael Beckett, chief officer at Colchester Foodbank, said: “Many people feel motivated to donate to food banks during the festive month as it is of course a time for giving. But there are families in crisis all year round that need our support, especially during the summer holidays, and donations can drop dramatically this time of year. We are particularly in need of pet food, jam and deodorant at the moment, but gratefully welcome all contributions.”