Easter Foodbank Appeal.
Central England Co-operative colleague Shane Lewis was all smiles after customers and members helped collect over 25,000 items as part of the Easter Foodbank Appeal.

Central England Co-operative customers and members have helped donate over 25,000 items as part of an Easter Foodbank Appeal. This will mean the creation of over 7,000 meals, said the retail co-operative society.

The society hosted the special two-week campaign drive in an effort to help those in need and provide emergency food and support to individuals and families in crisis.

Colleagues at over 180 food stores across 16 counties used already strong connections with local foodbank providers to encourage people to drop off one or more items – resulting in an amazing response.

Over 12,000 items were donated a week and, in total, over 25,000 items were collected in just 14 days over Easter, resulting in the creation of over 2,200 food parcels made up of around 11 items. Parcels will provide at least three days worth of meals for those in need.

Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the fact that in just two weeks we have had enough food donated to create 7,000 meals for people in need and make a real difference in our communities.

“Following the success of the Easter Foodbank Appeal, we want to appeal to our customers and members to continue to support our foodbanks throughout 2018 to help provide meals for people in need across the area all year round.

“Everyone at Central England Co-op would like to thank our members and customers for their generosity and supporting us in this project.”

An average of six items were donated per bag left in one of the Society foodbanks and this included items such as tea, sugar and cereals to other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products to ensure people can maintain their dignity during times of crisis.

This latest donation comes after the Society recently collected over 60,000 items as part of its successful Christmas Foodbank Appeal – which helped create over 16,000 meals.

Central England Co-op works all year round with over 50 different foodbank partners after the scheme was initially launched during Christmas 2013.

The store foodbanks have resulted in thousands of people every month from Birmingham to Norfolk being given enough food to cook meals.