Hugh McNeill – Project Manager at Coventry Foodbank.

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Heart of England Co-operative Society has donated £500 to help feed Coventry during the Covid19 pandemic.

The donation follows a break-in at Foleshill Community Centre in which thieves stole £2-3,000 of food belonging to Coventry Foodbank and Feeding Coventry, two organisations which work in partnership to supply fresh and ambient foods and non-food items to people in the city.

The break-in came at a time when unprecedented numbers of people are using the foodbank. Since the start of the Covid19 outbreak the number of users has doubled from 3,500 last April and May, to over 8,000 for the same period this year.

The money has been used to buy items in short supply, including non-food items such as toilet paper and toothbrushes.

Hugh McNeill, Project Manager at Coventry Foodbank, said: “We are delighted with the £500 donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society. It has helped us to buy a significant amount of goods which will obviously help a lot of people across the city. When we receive huge donations like this it means we can buy the items that people really need.”

Hugh praised the people of Coventry for their generosity in the aftermath of the raid which occurred on May 6.

He said: “The donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society is typical of the generosity we have seen not just from Coventry but nationally. We have probably had at least five times as many goods donated since the raid and I have been contacted by foodbanks throughout the UK who say they have seen a spike in donations because people in their areas have seen what happened to us and have wanted to help. It has produced a fantastic community response across the country.”

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said: “We are delighted to support Coventry Foodbank during these unprecedented times.

“The foodbank had already made an appeal for more donations before the raid and of course the incident only served to exacerbate the problem until the generous people of Coventry stepped in.

“We are delighted to do what we can to help.”

  • Anyone in need of the Foodbank service is urged to ask for a referral by calling 0808 583 4333.
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