The Rugby Advertiser is joining forces with the Co-op and Rugby Foodbank to support the town's most vulnerable

(Left to right)  Alex Green, reporter with the Rugby Advertiser; Clive Miles, president of the Heart of England Co-operative Society; Mark Borrill, store manager of The Co-operative at Long Lawford; Jo Dyke, Community and Membership adviser at the Society, and Corinne Mason, Director of Rugby Foodbank.
(Left to right) Alex Green, reporter with the Rugby Advertiser; Clive Miles, president of the Heart of England Co-operative Society; Mark Borrill, store manager of The Co-operative at Long Lawford; Jo Dyke, Community and Membership adviser at the Society, and Corinne Mason, Director of Rugby Foodbank.

The Heart of England Co-operative Society is joining forces with the Rugby Advertiser and Rugby Foodbank to help the town’s most vulnerable people.

We are urging everyone in Rugby to add one or two extra items to their list whenever they go shopping, to help those most in need.

When it first opened in 2012, Rugby Foodbank helped feed 1,481 people in its first financial year and has just reached its sixth anniversary this week with demand still increasing.

So far this financial year Rugby Foodbank has handed out three days’ worth of food to 4,023 people, more than a third of which (38 per cent) are children.

Corinne Mason, director of Rugby Foodbank, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people, particularly in the harvest festival and Christmas period.

“Christmas is our busiest time and last December we helped over 660 people – twice the number of people helped in November. But the need continues all year.

“Donations tail off from February to September and last summer, in order to meet the increased need we actually spent £1,000 on food in order to have just basic items available for clients.”

Today’s appeal has been kickstarted with a £4,000 donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society, after Co-op shoppers voted for Rugby

Foodbank to receive the lion’s share of £8,000, raised through the sales of carrier bags in Rugby stores over the past few months.

Corinne added: “Often people don’t have the time to volunteer or a lot of money to donate, but by donating one or two items when they are shopping, they become part of the bigger picture.

“Collectively they are making sure there is enough food at the foodbank to ensure that no-one in Rugby goes hungry when in a crisis.

“They may be helping someone in their road, or their school, someone that they didn’t know was struggling. That’s how close to home it can be. Often those we have helped choose to donate food when they are back on their feet, because they know first-hand what a life-saver it has been.”

To help promote the Foodbank, Corinne and her team are also launching a social media campaign – Help Stop Holiday Hunger and Keep The Foodbank Stocked.

Ali Kurji, chief executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said: “It is unbelievable that in this day and age there are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, including many on our own doorsteps, who struggle to put food on their tables and who rely on the kindness and generosity of others to spare an item or two as they shop for their own families.

“So we would urge all shoppers to buy just one or two extra items when they can. Just a small donation once a week can really help make a difference.”

People wishing to donate can find out the items most needed, updated on a weekly basis, at rugby.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/
Donations can be dropped off at:

The Co-operative, Lawford Road, New Bilton; The Co-operative, The Green, Old Bilton; The Co-operative, Townsend Lane, Long Lawford; The Co-operative, Overslade Lane, Rugby; The Co-operative, Gerard Road, Cawston; The Co-operative, High Street, Hillmorton; Asda, Rugby; Bilton Evangelical Church, Main Street; Cawston Community Centre, Scholars Drive; Dunchurch Post Office, Southam Road; Lloyds Bank, Church Street; Mister Robinson’s Barbershop, Church Street, Rugby; New Life Church, Railway Terrace; Rugby Foodbank Warehouse, Charlotte Street; Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre, Drover Close; Sainsbury’s, Dunchurch Road; Sainsbury’s Local, Hillmorton Road; St Andrew’s Church, Church Street; St George’s Church, St John’s Avenue; St Peter’s Church, Dunchurch; Tesco Express, Bilton; Tesco Superstore, Leicester Road; Webb Ellis Court, Pettiver Crescent; Wilko, Rugby Central.