A food retailer in Peterborough has launched a new appeal to help stock up under-pressure city food banks.
Bosses at Central England Co-op, which operates scores of stores across the region, are urging shoppers to donate what they can to help the food banks and also help feed children during the school holidays.
It is hoped donations from customers will boost food bank supplies in the face of growing demand from families struggling to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis.
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The retailer has set up special collection points at many of its stores.
Food bank co-ordinators say they are struggling to cope with rising demand from the numbers of people finding it tough to make ends meet with the rising cost of food, fuel and energy as inflation hits a 40 years high of of 9.4 per cent.
Among the most requested items currently include UHT Milk, long-life juice, pasta sauce, sponge puddings, tinned fruit and vegetables, tinned meat and fish, rice pudding, washing up liquid and many food banks are also keen to receive toiletries such as deodorant and toothpaste.
The items donated are turned into parcels with enough food to create meals for three days and distributed to help people in need across Central England Co-op’s trading area.
Store Manager Rebecca Mott said: “We’ve had an amazing response to previous appeals to support our food bank partners at crucial times of the year and we know from speaking to them that sadly the demand is only growing for their services.
“The summer holidays are always a particularly busy time anyway with children off school and not able to receive free school meals if they’re eligible.
“This is why everyone involved at Central England Co-op is asking members and customers, if they can, to dig deep and help support some great and vital local good causes who are providing a lifeline to people in need in your community.”
Juliet Welch from Peterborough Food Bank said they have been seeing higher levels of need due to the rising cost of living, with a big jump in demand over the last few months.
Particular items they are in need of are tinned meat and tinned rice pudding, long-life fruit and toiletries.
She said: “Sadly we are seeing that the cost-of-living is impacting us, in terms of seeing more people in need of our foodbank emergency parcels, but also those that would normally donate to us also now starting to struggle. So, we really value and appreciate any donations that we receive.”
Yaxley Foodbank are providing weekly parcels in August for families recommended to them by local schools.
They’re looking for donations of items including tinned meat, tinned fish, tinned spaghetti, soups, fruit juice, squash, tinned potatoes, tinned vegetables and tinned fruit, as well as personal hygiene items (shampoo/shower gels/soap/washing powder/toothpaste etc.)
Central England Co-op’s Summer Food Bank Appeal will run right across the summer holiday period and people can find their nearest Central England Co-op store at the retailer’s website.