The Co-operative Food has teamed up with ITV1 breakfast show, Daybreak, and The Salvation Army to launch the You CAN Help campaign, to help feed people in need, from all walks of life, this Christmas.
Fronted by popular presenter Gethin Jones and launching on Monday 26 November, the social action campaign aims to collect as many cans of food as possible in just one week, with a target of a quarter of a million cans.
Everyone can help simply by buying an extra can of food during their weekly shop and donating it at special collection points in almost 1,000 participating Co-operative food stores across the UK. The cans will then be distributed by The Co-operative Food’s Logistics team to people in need in each region via The Salvation Army. They will be used to help young and old people from all walks of life as part of food parcels and food for lunch clubs and winter shelters.
The Salvation Army has revealed that in the last two years the number of food parcels being given out from food centres has doubled. The economic climate is still looking bleak and more people than ever need a helping hand. With Christmas just around the corner, You CAN Help aims to ensure that everyone has enough to eat over the festive season.
Gethin Jones said: “It’s just awful to think that people go hungry, especially over Christmas. ‘You CAN Help’ is all about collecting as many cans as possible over the course of a week, and I hope all our viewers will think about buying an extra can of food - of anything at all - to support our campaign.”
Fellow Daybreak presenter, Aled Jones, added: “It can be a can of tuna, beans, peas or even fruit that is donated - whatever you decide to donate at your nearest participating Co-op food store, will really benefit those in need now, and also over the festive period.”
Co-host Lorraine Kelly said: “We want to collect as many cans as possible for The Salvation Army to distribute. It would be absolutely fantastic if we could manage to get a quarter of a million cans over the week-long campaign. I really hope all our viewers will get involved and help!”
Major Paul Kingscott, social services spokesman, The Salvation Army, said: “We helped 115,400 in need of food parcels last year, and the numbers who need our help are increasing. Every can of food donated will go to help those in need, including families, older people, teenagers in our shelters and homeless men and women.”
Nicole White, 20, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, was living on the streets until a few weeks ago when she was helped by The Salvation Army. She explained: “Without food parcels, I and thousands of homeless people like me would go hungry. I needed them when I had nothing else. With the help of donated food I’m getting back on my feet again and rebuilding my life.”
Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, The Co-operative Food, commented: “It’s easy for viewers and shoppers to make a difference by supporting the Daybreak campaign – they simply have to donate a can of food, and The Co-operative and The Salvation Army will ensure it reaches people in need in their communities this Christmas.”
You CAN Help collection points will be clearly identified at the entrance of participating Co-operative food stores and will be in place from 26 November to 2 December inclusive. Acceptable cans include meat, fish, vegetables, soup and fruit.
A full list of participating Co-operative food stores will be available from 26 November at www.itv.com/daybreak or www.co-operativefood.co.uk/youcanhelp
Tel: 0207 827 7063
The Co-operative Food
Tel: 07770 925958
For regional case studies and interviewees contact:
The Salvation Army
Tel: 0203 657 7555
Daybreak airs on ITV1 weekdays from 6am to 8.30am.
Watch Gethin all week on Daybreak (26 to 30 November) as he travels round the country meeting people who will be helped by the campaign and encouraging viewers to donate a can. Cans can be donated up until close of business on Sunday 2 December.
The Salvation Army offers more than just a handout for the people who need food parcels, it offers support with budgeting, life skills and employment skills to support people to turn their lives around. It is here to support those who are marginalised or vulnerable in every community.
The Co-operative Food is part of The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers. As well as being the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the Group is a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. www.co-operative.coop