Supporting food justice for all

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Supporting foodbanks 

Our local foodbanks are dedicated to ensuring that members of our community don’t go hungry and we want to do as much as possible to support them. 

Foodbanks are a lifeline to many people. This story from Colchester Foodbank is just one example of why the support of foodbanks is crucial to our communities:    

“With a young child and a baby on the way, John took the (carefully planned) big step of going self-employed as an electrician just a few months before lockdown. A few months on, he couldn’t work and received none of the help available for businesses as he’d been self-employed less than a year. He and his wife found themselves unable to feed their little ones and came to us.” 

This has been a particularly tough year for our community, along with the rest of the country. Colchester Foodbank are estimating that they will be supporting 12,000 people this year compared to 9,400 last year. Sadly, a third of those they are helping are children. 

How can you help local people in need? 

We have launched a foodbank donation card which you can buy to give as a present to a loved one. Our gift cards cost £5 and when you buy one the money you pay will be donated to the foodbank connected to the store you purchase it in. 

The card, which you will keep, contains a message of thanks for helping local people in crisis. You can then give it to a loved one as a gift to let them know that a donation has been made on their behalf. We know lots of people are trying to shop more consciously and buy presents that benefit their local community. If that’s you, make sure you pop into your local East of England Co-op to pick up a Foodbank donation gift card.  

What are we doing to support our community’s foodbanks? 

Since March 2020, we have: 

  • Donated over £80,000 from our Community Cares Fund to ensure that 24 foodbanks across our region can continue to help those in need in their local communities.
  • Held a summer holiday in-store donation drive. We had an overwhelming response from our colleagues, members and customers who donated 4.7 tonnes of food and supplies which is the equivalent of just over 1800 meals. 
  • Joined other Retail Co-ops across the country in asking our members and customers to “give a little something” to help our region’s foodbanks support local people in crisis at Christmas.  
  • Asked our local foodbanks for their most needed items every month and promoted these in store to ensure our customers know how to make the most impact with their donations. Find out which foodbank we collect for in your local store here.
  • Joined the Child Food Poverty Task Force championed by Marcus Rashford to increase the value of Healthy Start Vouchers to £4.25. Find out more here.

Read more about how we are supporting local food banks and what you can do to help.