East of England Co-op fighting food poverty this Christmas

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This year we are providing much needed support to local food banks, soup kitchens and night shelters over the festive period.

Although Christmas is a time of joy for so many, for those who find themselves in financial difficulty, it becomes an especially tough time of year. This winter we are inviting you to join us in the fight against food poverty.

From a box of mince pies to a chocolate selection box, we are asking you to help spread some festive cheer by giving just one item from your festive shopping baskets to your local foodbank.

There will be foodbank collection points at every East of England Co-op food store across the region, with the Christmas appeal running until early January. Donations will be passed on to 25 Trussell Trust and independent, local banks including FIND (Families in Need), Clacton Salvation Army, and Norwich Foodbank.

Between 1st April 2016 and 30th September 2016, 519,342 three day emergency food supplies were provided to people in crisis by Trussell Trust foodbanks. 2016 marked an all-time high for the volume of emergency food provided to people by a Trussell Trust foodbank in the East of England.

Jo Stephenson, East of England Regional Development Officer at the Trussel Trust said: “We’re very grateful for the support of the East of England Co-op in the lead up to this Christmas. Winter is the hardest time of year for people living on the breadline; many will face stark choices between eating and heating.

“Trussell Trust foodbanks will be there for people when an unavoidable crisis, like redundancy, illness or a broken boiler, means there isn’t enough money to put food on the table, but it is only with the support of local people and businesses that foodbanks can continue to do that vital work.”

Alongside supporting local foodbanks, we are providing food and drink supplies to soup kitchens in Ipswich, Norwich and Colchester for the entirety of December. This amounts to a total donation of 3,840 tea bags, 120 jars of coffee, 2,250 packets of soup, 1,200 chocolate biscuits, 182 tins of tuna and 96 tins of corned beef.

Colchester Night Shelter, St Martin’s House Homeless Charity in Norwich and Ipswich Winter Night Shelter have also received financial support for food supplies this winter, alongside a donation of 720 tea bags to use over the Christmas period.

Christian Bone, Head of Community Engagement at the East of England Co-op said:  “We hope to make a real difference to lives of vulnerable local people through our continued work with food banks, soup kitchens and night shelters this winter and would like to encourage our members and customers to join us in our fight against food poverty this year. By donating just one item from your shopping basket to a food banks at your local food store you could make someone’s Christmas a little brighter.”