Co-op and England international footballer Marcus Rashford has lent his support to Co-op to help boost urgently needed food bank donations in latest campaign by Lucky Generals. Demand has tripled in some towns and cities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis, with household incomes hit as millions of workers are furloughed and businesses close.
The new ad follows the same format as last month’s Easter campaign, which saw Co-op shelve its original work to instead use the video call format to feature Co-op employees asking for donations. This time, as the call progresses and more faces appear, England striker Marcus Rashford also lends his voice to the campaign; well, once he turns his microphone on, with one employee shouting: “You’re on mute, Rashy.”
Manchester United striker Marcus is a longstanding supporter of FareShare and has made significant personal donations. The ad airs online from today and will be shown on major TV channels from Thursday 7th May 2020. The Co-op appeal has already helped fund millions of meals for needy families as demand surges for free food provided by food banks, as customers contribute through text and in-store donation options. The convenience retailer’s 4.6 million members are also being called upon to support the campaign. Co-op members receive a 5% reward every time they buy an own-brand product or service which is held in an online wallet and can be redeemed on future purchases, and they can now go online to donate the existing money in their wallet to the Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund.
England International Marcus Rashford said: "This project is a personal one for me. We are working to keep food on the table for children like me 10 years ago - children who rely on free school meals. Whilst that is my particular focus, FareShare is doing a great job of distributing food to a lot of other vulnerable people across the UK with the help of partners such as Co-op. Being from Manchester, I was happy to offer my voice to the Co-op for this video campaign - coming together we are so much stronger."
Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, said: “In this time of crisis, we are seeing our communities pull together to really show that a little co-operation by many, can make a big difference to support those who are struggling. We’re determined to do everything we can to support those getting food to those who are most vulnerable and along with our customers and members we have donated money and food to reach the two million meals mark but, more is still needed. Food banks are a lifeline for those who rely on the donations to feed their families and demand for their services has seen a huge increase since the pandemic started. This is only set to grow as the number of people who unexpectedly find themselves without a regular or a reduced income gets higher. We are grateful to Marcus for giving his time and influence to raise awareness of how easy we have made it to donate to the charity we both support.”