Award-winning social enterprise Community Shop, which runs Community Shop Athersley and Community Shop Goldthorpe, has received a landmark donation of £900,000 from Nestlé UK & Ireland, which will help it to support thousands of families who might otherwise go hungry during the school summer holidays.

The support provided to thousands of children and families is on behalf of Nestlé’s 8,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, from one family to another.

Community Shop, which works in areas experiencing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK, will use the investment to provide fresh, nutritious meals for vulnerable children and their families. The funding will also support Community Shop’s broader aims to build stronger individuals and more confident communities through services ranging from debt advice, training and personal development; to a summer programme of events which aims to bring together families to celebrate the power of food, with the sharing of recipes and cooking demonstrations, amongst many other activities such as virtual exercise classes.

Stefano Agostini, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé UK & Ireland said: “Access to food is an urgent problem made worse by this global pandemic. We know that many people are struggling to feed themselves, their children and even their pets which leads to some impossible choices for a household. As schools begin their summer break today, millions of children are at risk of holiday hunger. On behalf of our 8,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, we will be helping 8,000 low-income families to access the food and services they need this summer.

“This is only a fraction of what is required, of course and we will be looking at a range of further initiatives over the coming months, from increasing our regular donations to food banks, to encouraging our people to use some of their 16,000 annual volunteer days to further support Covid-19 recovery efforts in their local communities.”

“The impact of Covid-19 will be far reaching but we must all take this chance to consider how we can do things differently for the future and play our part in a strong recovery. Nestlé UK & Ireland will focus its efforts over the coming months to build a more flexible and diverse workplace, adapt our business, help improve access to food, contribute to a green recovery and support youth employment.”

Copyright Richard Moran

John Marren, Founder & Chairman of Community Shop said: “We are incredibly grateful for such a generous investment. It means we can reach more children and families and have an even greater positive impact on the lives of the people in the communities we are so proud to serve. The funding comes at a critical time, with many families facing increased hardship due to COVID-19, and at the onset of the school holidays, where many families struggle to access food and wider support.

“Thanks to Nestlé’s incredible support, we can provide an invaluable lifeline to so many, and work together to create a legacy in our communities. It is thanks to the fantastic backing of industry partners like Nestlé that we are able to deliver such a positive social, economic and environmental impact.”

According to a recent Food Foundation survey conducted by YouGov*, 3.2 million people in the UK living in households with children under 18 have suffered from food insecurity due to issues such as loss of income or isolation since lockdown began. At the same time, research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that 1 in 5 households is experiencing poverty today. Poverty is a key driver for a household’s inability to access food.

Notes to editors:

*The Impact of Coronavirus on Food – an online survey of 2248 adults in households with children in the UK conducted between 24-29 April 2020 by YouGov Plc

About Community Shop

  • Community Shop is an award-winning social enterprise and the UK’s first social supermarket chain. It was founded in 2013 by the country’s largest redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group.
  • Community Shop helps to build stronger individuals and more confident communities by providing thousands of individuals and families with access to high-quality and heavily discounted food and products, alongside offering life-changing personal development support.
  • Membership to Community Shop is open to those who live locally, receive welfare support and are motivated to make a positive difference to their lives. It provides immediate food access and support to those who need it most but can often afford it least.
  • It operates a network of five deep-impact social supermarket, including in London, South Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire and the North West.
  • The food brought and taken home by Community Shop members last year alone helped to create more than 30 million meal
  • Members saved £212 on average on food per month by shopping at Community Shop
  • 6,259 households have engaged with Community Shop over the last five years

Find out more about Community Shop here: http://companyshop.co.uk/community-shop/what-is-community-shop/