Co-op Customers Help Raise £50k For 78 Foodbanks Across South East

Last year Southern Co-op started a new community initiative at its Co-operative Food stores to donate 2p to local foodbanks per qualifying transaction.

The cash  has been donated to foodbanks across the south of England thanks to co-operative shoppers swiping their membership cards.

From Alton to Worthing and Exeter to Eastbourne, 78 different foodbanks are currently supported by their local Southern Co-op store.

The latest round of funding will see more than £50,000 being split between the good causes which is in addition to the £48,000 previously raised through the scheme.

The donations are expected to make a ‘huge difference' according to the giving platform, Neighbourly, which helps businesses make a positive impact in their communities by donating volunteer time, money, and surplus products.

Neighbourly recently surveyed its network of good causes which showed that whilst 80% of respondents have seen demand increase over the past three months, 45% have also seen food and product donations decrease over the same period.

The survey respondents included foodbanks, community centres, community pantries, homeless charities, schools, family centres, and mental health charities.

Neighbourly's CEO Steve Butterworth said: "Our latest community survey results highlight that the demand on food banks and local food aid groups is still extremely high.

"The cost-of-living crisis is continuing to add pressure and we are now heading into the autumn/winter months when families will face a rise in energy costs and when food banks face their peak months.

"Food banks are extremely grateful for the support that the public and organisations like Southern Co-op are able to give - it makes a huge difference to the positive impact they are able to deliver within communities."

The 78 foodbanks are currently supported in Co-operative Food stores with a food donation point. To find your nearest store visit https://southern.coop/store-locator.

Foodbanks which have been offered the donation include: Acts of Kindness Community (Solent), Alton - Trussell Trust, Andover Food Bank, Banwell Food Bank, Basingstoke - Trussell Trust, Beacon Food Bank, Bognor Regis - Trussell Trust, Bournemouth - Trussell Trust, Bradford on Avon Hub, Bridgwater Food Bank, Brighton Food Bank, Burgess Hill Community Food Bank, Chichester District Food Bank, Croydon Animal Samaritans, East Bristol Food Bank, Eastbourne - Trussell Trust, Exeter Food Bank, Exmouth Food Bank, Exmouth Friends in Need, Fair Frome Food Bank, Faithworks Wessex, Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank, Fareham Food Bank, FareShare Sussex, Farnham Food Bank, Hastings Food Bank - Trussell Trust, Haywards Heath Food Bank, Hedge End Food Bank, Helping Hands Portsmouth, Horndean and Clanfield Food Bank, Horsham District Foodbank, Isle of Wight Food Bank, Jacobs Well, Just a Helping Hand, Keynsham Food Bank - Trussell Trust, Kings Church - Trussell Trust, Kinson & West Howe Foodbank - Trussell Trust, Lamborn Food Junction, Liphook Food Bank, Littlehampton & District Food Bank, Lyndhurst Food Bank, Maidstone Food Bank, Meon Valley Food Bank, Nailsea Community Larder, Newbury Soup Kitchen, North Bristol & South Glos Foodbank, North End Pantry, North Guildford Food Bank, Nourish Community Foodbank, Odiham Food Bank, Okehampton Food Bank, Pan Together - Isle of Wight, People's Pantry - Repton Community Trust, Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) , Refresh Bedminster, Ringwood - Trussell Trust, Romsey Foodbank, Saint Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Salisbury Food Bank, Salvation Army Hove, Southampton City Mission, Stripey Stork, Sussex Homeless Support, Taunton - Trussell Trust, The Bridge Centre, The Lifehouse Food Kitchen & Drop In Centre, The Purple People Kitchen, The Vale Pantry, Warminster & District Food Bank, Waterlooville Food Bank, West Berks Foodbank, Wimbledon Food Bank, Wimborne Food Bank, Winchester Basics Bank, Woking Food Bank, Wokingham Food Bank, Woodsy's Pantry, and Worthing Soup Kitchen.

A further £1,480 was recently donated to Neighbourly's Warm Communities Fund as the co-operative pledged 20p for each member vote at its 2023 Board of Directors election and AGM.

Holly Bramble, Southern Co-op's Community Lead, said: "The foodbanks we support tell us how vital these donations are for their services. The demand and need are still incredibly high so every donation makes a difference - whether that is a can of soup or a couple of pennies.

"A number of the foodbanks we support also help to reduce food waste which has added sustainability benefits. We'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who works and volunteers at the local foodbank. Your generosity is a lifesaver." To find out more about becoming a Southern Co-op member, visit https://southern.coop/membership/your-membership.

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