Store’s food bank ap­peal brings in 75,000 items

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - BUSINESS - By Gareth But­ter­field gareth.but­ter­[email protected]­bourne­new­stele­

CUS­TOMERS of the town’s two Cen­tral Eng­land Co-op­er­a­tive stores have helped to do­nate more than 75,000 items for the so­ci­ety’s re­cent food bank ap­peal.

The re­tailer, which has a su­per­mar­ket in Shaw Croft and a con­ve­nience store in Blen­heim Road, gath­ered up enough items in its bas­kets to cre­ate over 30,000 meals for peo­ple in need.

The lat­est five-week ap­peal ran over the fes­tive sea­son in an ef­fort to pro­vide emer­gency food and sup­port to in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in cri­sis and staff at 180 food stores across 16 coun­ties used their con­nec­tions with food bank providers to en­cour­age peo­ple to drop off one or more items.

More than 15,000 items a week were do­nated and, in to­tal, over 75,000 were col­lected in just a mat­ter of weeks.

This al­lowed for the cre­ation of spe­cial food parcels that were handed out to pro­vide over 30,000 meals dur­ing the fes­tive pe­riod.

Mar­tyn Chea­tle, Cen­tral Eng­land Co-op­er­a­tive chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “We have all been amazed by the fan­tas­tic re­sponse to our Christ­mas Food Bank Ap­peal from cus­tomers, mem­bers and col­leagues.

“As a co-op­er­a­tive, we are proud to be able to sup­port the great work of local food banks across our trad­ing area dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son and through­out the year.

“This year we have col­lected over 75,000 items, a great fig­ure that will mean we have cre­ated over 30,000 meals for those in cri­sis.

“We all want to say a big ‘thank you’ to ev­ery­one who do­nated, not just to the Christ­mas Food Bank Ap­peal but our year round food bank col­lec­tions.

“The gen­eros­ity and sup­port on show through­out 2018 has helped make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence to peo­ple from all walks of life.

“We now want to ask peo­ple to con­tinue to sup­port our food banks dur­ing 2019 so we can keep pro­vid­ing vi­tal do­na­tions to good causes that can re­ally make a pos­i­tive im­pact on those in need.”

The parcels in­cluded items such as tea, su­gar and ce­re­als and other es­sen­tials such as toi­letries and hy­giene prod­ucts to en­sure peo­ple can main­tain their dig­nity dur­ing times of cri­sis.

They also fea­tured fes­tive treats rang­ing from cho­co­late to Turk­ish de­light fol­low­ing a plea by food bank part­ners for peo­ple to spread a lit­tle ‘fes­tive cheer’ with their do­na­tions.

The Christ­mas Food Bank Ap­peal was launched on the back of year-round re­la­tion­ships cur­rently in place with local food bank providers and hun­dreds of Cen­tral Eng­land Co-op stores.

Dur­ing Christ­mas 2013, Cen­tral Eng­land Co-op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety tri­alled an in-store food bank col­lec­tion and such was its suc­cess that the so­ci­ety now has per­ma­nent food bank col­lec­tion points in hun­dreds of its stores.

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

Cen­tral Eng­land Co-op­er­a­tive staff mem­ber Sheena Lee is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter over 75,000 items were do­nated as part of the Christ­mas Food Bank Ap­peal

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