Food banks across the south are to receive donations totalling £30,000 thanks to Southern Co-op members scanning their cards as they shopped in December.

Membership cards were scanned on nearly 300,000 separate occasions which the independent co-operative is converting to 10p per swipe and rounding up to £500 per food bank.

From Alton and Banwell to Wimbledon and Worthing (full list below), all of the food banks receiving donations are currently supported by collection points in stores as customers generously donate a range of products to those in need of a helping hand.

Gemma Lacey, Southern Co-op’s Director of Sustainability and Communications, said: “We’d hoped that this campaign would bring together our members and engage them in a concerted effort to target food poverty and make a difference to so many local food banks.

“Not only does this demonstrate that there is power in co-operatives and our members, but it also shows that our members care about their local communities and small gestures go a long way.”

Between April 2020 and?March?2021 food banks in the Trussell Trust network gave out 2.5million emergency food parcels across the UK. Many of these will have been supported by food donated by people in their local communities.

Through financial donations, goods donations, volunteering and drop off points in 97 retail stores and funeral branches, Southern Co-op colleagues currently support 60 local community food banks.

These include Acts of Kindness Community (Solent), Alton – Trussell Trust, Andover – Trussell Trust, Appleford School on behalf of Salisbury – Trussell Trust, Banwell – Trussell Trust, Basingstoke – Trussell Trust, Bath – Trussell Trust, Beacon Church, Bognor Regis – Trussell Trust, Bournemouth – Trussell Trust, Bridge Church, Burgess Hill Community Food Bank, Chertsey Just a Helping Hand, Chichester District – Trussell Trust, Croydon Animal Samaritans, Eastbourne – Trussell Trust, Exeter Food Bank, Exmouth Friends in Need, F.I.S.H (Food, Information, Support & Hope) , Fair Frome, Faithworks Wessex, Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank, Farnham – Trussell Trust, Gillingham – Trussell Trust, Hart – Trussell Trust, Haywards Heath – Trussell Trust, Homeless Care – Food for Thought, Horndean Baptist Church, Horsham District Foodbank, Isle of Wight – Trussell Trust, Julian Trust – Bristol, Keynsham Food Bank – Trussell Trust, Kings Church – Trussell Trust, Kingswood Foodbank, Kinson & West Howe Foodbank – Trussell Trust, Liphook and Bramshott Foodbank, Lyndhurst and Emery Down Community Action Group, Meon Valley Food Bank, Nailsea Support Group, Newbury Soup Kitchen, North Bristol – Trussell Trust, Okehampton Food Bank, People’s Pantry at Repton Connect Community Centre, Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) , Ringwood – Trussell Trust, Romsey Foodbank, Saint Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Salvation Army Hove, Sussex – FairShare, Surrey Helping Hands, Taunton – Trussell Trust, The Hub in Bradford on Avon, Warminster & District Food Bank, Was AFC Portchester Mutual Support Group – now based at Portchester Community, Association ‘Woodsy’s pantry’ Food bank and pantry, West Berkshire – Trussell Trust, Wimbledon – Trussell Trust, Winchester Basics Bank, Worthing Soup Kitchen, and YMCA Andover.

The December membership and community campaign ran from 1 to 31 December with 10p donated from all Southern Co-op member transactions with no minimum spend.

Southern Co-op has more than 200 Co-operative Food stores across the south of England which can be found via the store finder here: https://stores.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/search.html. Or to find out more about the campaign, visit www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/membership/december-foodbank-donation/.

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