Coalition for good forms to help virus victims

M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners have committed a combined total of £500,000 in a partnership with Neighbourly to create the Neighbourly Community Fund, funnelling vital funds directly to community organisations helping those most at risk during coronavirus crisis.

The funds will provide immediate micro-grants to community organisations that are helping the people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity, including foodbanks, homeless shelters, care homes, youth groups and health charities.

The immediate micro grants of up to £400 will go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials. By co-ordinating the emergency response, Neighbourly will be able to assess where the most urgent gaps in support are, and where to direct funds to.

Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S said: “One of the things that makes me most proud to work at M&S is the role we play in our local communities. Not just through the brilliant service our colleagues give to our customers, but through the time and energy they give to helping those most in need. We can’t do this on our own and so we partner with organisations like Neighbourly, a charity which links our stores to local organisations so we can donate surplus food and non-food products to the people who really need it. This fund will help mobilise over 1,000 local charities and organisations across the UK to support the most vulnerable members of your community. The whole M&S family is getting involved - including M&S Bank and M&S Energy – so we can keep up the support communities need most as events unfold.”

The companies involved are urging other businesses to join them to help build a coordinated response.

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