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AJC and Co-op donate food parcels to help tackle food insecurity

The Association of Jersey Charities (AJC) has received nearly £2,500 from the Co-op UK’s Foundation which it topped up with funds from its National Emergencies Trust award and used to create food parcels for distribution amongst eight charities on Island.

Co-op UK has made donations to charitable foundations across the UK with the stipulation that the funds should be used to support local charities and community organisations working to tackle food insecurity.

Representatives from AJC and The Channel Islands Co-operative Society have jointly prepared food parcels which include items from the Co-op’s Honest Value range. Recently launched across the Channel Islands, this new range offers staple products at reasonable prices without compromising on product quality or ethics.

Fifteen key store cupboard goods, including rice, pasta, jam, soup, tea, coffee and orange cordial are included and the Society has also donated more than 200 Easter eggs to the campaign as an extra treat.

The eight charities that have shared food parcels with Islanders are Brightly, Sanctuary Trust, Causeway, Salvation Army, Shelter Trust, Jersey Association of Youth & Friendship, Grace Trust and Women’s Refuge.

Wendy Nerac, fundraising officer for Brightly, said: ‘We are extremely thankful to the Association of Jersey Charities and the Co-op Foundation for the donation to our charity. These care parcels come at a great time. The young people we support are aged between 16 – 25 years have had experience of the care system and are just starting out as independent adults. They are still overcoming the challenges that arose from the coronavirus pandemic. These care packages are helping them to meet their basic needs at a time when funds are tight due to being furloughed or unemployed as a result of the pandemic.’

Emma Roberts, manager of the Jersey Association of Youth and Friendship said: ‘We have extended our support to more young people as a consequence of the pandemic. We aim to enable those that we support to gain a sense of independence and resilience by developing key life skills such as housekeeping, education, training and employment skills. These food packages, created from the donation from the Association of Jersey Charities and Co-op Foundation, allow us to help our residents to have that sense of achievement that comes from independent living and build their confidence.’

AJC Chairman, Kevin Keen, commented: "This collaboration with the CI Co-Op has maximised the value of the donation we received, and the comments from recipients remind us all too clearly that food insecurity was not just a hard truth of the Covid-19 pandemic but is a real and continuing problem in Jersey.”

Ell Hopton, community and sustainability manager at The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said: ‘Through working with local charities and supporting their food banks, we recognise that the global pandemic has exacerbated the issue of food insecurity in Jersey. It has been reported locally that during the height of the pandemic last year, food banks supported around 600 people per week which is three times the number compared with 2019.

‘Food insecurity is a serious issue and the Co-op, locally and in the UK, is committed to helping those in our communities who need extra support so we hope that the food parcels will make a difference to Islanders.’

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