Thursday 3rd Febuary

he Heart of England Co-operative Society has kick-started food poverty charity FareShare Midlands’ 2022 fundraising with a donation of almost £5,000.

The money was raised over the festive season and will be donated to FareShare, which works to combat hunger and waste by redistributing food among some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Steve Browne is the General Manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Food Division, which operates a network of 35 Food stores across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Steve raised £3,220 after taking part in a charity dip in the North Sea near his hometown of Blyth, Northumberland, on New Year’s Day.

FareShare will use the money raised to benefit community organisations who support the elderly, the homeless, impoverished families and people affected by food poverty as a result of Covid 19.

Steve said: “FareShare is a cause close to my heart. Not only does it play a significant part in the ongoing fight against hunger but its work is vital in helping to protect the environment.

“With more food being shared among those most in need and less food waste being sent to landfill to rot, there are fewer harmful gases being released into our atmosphere. It really is an excellent cause which brings multiple benefits.”

The Society raised a further £1,638 for FareShare through its partnership with Too Good To Go – a mobile app also dedicated to reducing food poverty in the UK. Through Too Good To Go, the Society fills

‘Magic Bags’ with surprise goodies approaching their best before dates.

Shoppers are then able to ‘rescue’ the Magic Bags by purchasing them through the app at a heavily discounted price, ready for collection from the stores.Typically, a Magic Bag worth £10 will be available for the discounted price of £3.30 from the Society.

During December the Society sold 1,638 Magic Bags to customers, matching the sale of every bag with a £1 donation to FareShare.

Simone Connolly, Director of FareShare Midlands said: “We are so grateful to Steve for his personal feat, and to the Heart of England Co-op for their continuing support. The £5,000 raised will result in a further 20,000 meals for local families struggling in the winter.

“We also thank Too Good To Go and are delighted to be working with another organisation making a real difference in the fight against food waste.”

It was the end to a successful year of working with FareShare, in which the Society made regular donations of foods approaching their use by date for redistribution to various charities.