A FIVE-FIGURE donation is being made to foodbanks across north and mid Essex to help cope with their “highest ever level of demand”.

The East of England Co-op is donating £50,000 this winter and calling on customers to help boost its funding pot.

The sites to benefit from the cash boost include the Braintree district, Clacton, Colchester, the Dengie, Harwich, Maldon, Manningtree and Walton.

They are among 25 independent, Salvation Army and Trussell Trust foodbanks across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire which the Co-op is helping.

Each year, The East of England Co-op invests part of its profits through its Community Cares Fund to support communities across East Anglia.

Since its launch in April 2020, the retailer has donated more than £1million to organisations and charities through its Community Cares Fund and this support has helped more than 95,000 people. 

Now, as latest figures show the highest ever need for foodbank help, with the Trussell Trust network alone distributing three million food parcels in the last year, the East of England Co-op is providing a funding boost to foodbanks and calling on customers to join their campaign. 

Customers are urged to help boost support to the community by donating when they visit  stores. 

Co-op boss Oli Watts said: “We know many communities are struggling this winter, and it’s important we do all we can to help.

“Nationally, one per cent of households are classed as ‘food insecure’, which means they ate less or went a day without eating because they couldn’t access or afford food.

“This should not be happening, and we want to do all we can to help people in our areas access the essential food and supplies they need.

“We’ve made it easy for our customers to help too.

"Every donation, no matter how small, will go directly to our partner foodbanks, and will help to make a massive difference to families this Christmas.

“We know this support will be welcomed by the incredible network of foodbanks in our region, who are doing so much to help others. 

“Our thanks go to the many volunteers who give up their time to keep food banks stocked and open to help people who are struggling.”