Co-ops to tackle ‘devastating’ Christmas shortages

Two English Co-operatives have launched their Christmas appeals in an attempt to “support those most in need”.

The Midcounties and Southern Co-ops will donate to around 130 food banks, which come under pressure in the holidays when children cannot rely on free school meals.

Their initiatives will offer “vital support” to families across 19 counties.

Shoppers at the 228 Midcounties Co-ops can donate money at checkouts or drop off items in collection boxes for the Food Bank Fund.

READ MORE: Union ‘frustrated’ as Co-op workers threatened with knives

£1 from each “magic bag” of surplus food sold will also go to the initiative, which has raised over £50,000 since it was launched at the start of the pandemic.

Chief executive Phil Ponsonby said: “After what’s been an especially difficult couple of years for many people, it’s never been so important for local communities to come together to help support those most in need. 

“That’s why we’re… encouraging all of those who can afford it to donate what they can, of monetary or product value, at our stores this Christmas.”

Southern Co-op has pledged to donate 10p to local food banks every time customers scan their membership card in stores.

It hopes the scheme will raise “thousands of pounds”. 

“We really hope this campaign will make a difference to a lot of families,” community lead Holly Bramble said.

“All the money raised will be split equally between more than 60 local community food banks we work with.”

Central England Co-op also launched its Christmas appeal today, urging customers to “dig deep and donate”.

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