Members help Southern Co-op raise £30,000 for food banks

The funds will support 60 food banks in the south of England

Southern Co-op and its members have helped to raise £30,000 for food banks in the south of England with a December in-store initiative. 

Members of the independent co-op, which has more than 200 food stores across the south of England, were asked to scan their membership cards when they shopped, with Southern donating 10p to the scheme each time.

The membership and community campaign ran from 1 to 31 December, when membership cards scanned almost 300,000 times. Southern is dividing the funds between 60 co-ops across the south of the country, and rounding the donations up to £500 for each food bank.

Food banks supported by the co-op include Burgess Hill Community Food Bank in Sussex,  Lyndhurst and Emery Down Community Action Group in the New Forest and Okehampton Food Bank in Devon.

The scheme also funds a number of food banks run by the national charity Trussell Trust. Food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed 2.5million emergency food parcels across the UK between April 2020 and  March 2021, many of which contained items donated by the local community.

All of the food banks being given cash donations also receive support through collection points in 97 of Southern’s stores, which customers donate various products to directly.

Southern Co-op’s director of sustainability and communications, Gemma Lacey, said: “We’d hoped that this campaign would bring together our members and engage them in a concerted effort to target food poverty and make a difference to so many local food banks.

“Not only does this demonstrate that there is power in co-operatives and our members, but it also shows that our members care about their local communities and small gestures go a long way.”