The Co-op has donated £1.5m to the National Emergencies Trust which will be used to support local charities and community organisations that are working to tackle food poverty in communities across the UK.

The money was raised over the summer through purchases from the Co-op’s picnic range. This funding will be distributed through the national network of community foundations using their local expertise.

Who can apply for grants?

Voluntary and community organisations, including but not limited to:

  • registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations
  • constituted organisations and non-registered charities
  • community interest companies and community benefit societies (community foundations can use their own policy)
  • parish and town councils (if the funded activity is not deemed part of their statutory duties)
  • Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)
  • Churches and other religious organisations (if the funded activity is not deemed to be proselytising).

Not eligible under this programme:

  • Grants that are solely for the provision of bursaries to individuals or families cannot be awarded.
  • Individuals cannot apply
  • Statutory bodies such as city and county councils or health institutions cannot apply
  • What kind of projects will be funded?

Funding can only go towards sustainable food poverty programmes which tackle Co-op’s funding priorities detailed below:

  • REDISTRIBUTION – We will actively redistribute our surplus food to the people who need it most in our communities
  • ACCESS – We will provide easy access to nutritious food and balanced meals for customers with a limited budget
  • UPSKILLING – We will help to educate and upskill customers on low cost meal solutions, limiting food waste and shopping smartly
  • YOUNG PEOPLE – We will support future generations by prioritising the wellbeing of children and young people struggling with food insecurity
  • COMMUNITIES - food programmes for vulnerable communities delivered in those communities

Depending on the local need, there may also be further criteria that is detailed on your local community foundation’s website.

Examples of what could be funded

The types of programmes that this funding could support are, but not limited to:

  • Foodbanks
  • Programmes that tackle food waste
  • Programmes that encourage healthy eating
  • Holiday hunger schemes
  • How much can I apply for?

The grant amount that organisations can apply for will be set at a local level so applicants will need to check with their local community foundation before applying. The vast majority of grants awarded will likely to be between £2000 and £10,000 but in some cases a community foundation might award a larger grant to an organisation that is covering a larger geographic area or leading on a coordinated partnership response.


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