Tamworth Co-op Cash in the Bag scheme helps families

More than 400 festive parcels were handed out to Tamworth families in need to help them through the Christmas period.

Tamworth Co-operative Society donated £2,000 worth of food to help fill the parcels. The money was raised from the Cash in the Bag scheme which comes from the sale of carrier bags.

The food, consisting of cupboard staples, such as rice, cereals, tins and pasta, was sourced from the Co-op’s main supermarket in Church Street. The parcels also contained festive treats.

The emergency hand-out was given to the Heart of Tamworth Community Project, one of three local groups to have benefited recently from the Cash in the Bag initiative. The charity linked up with Santa’s Little Helpers to distribute the aid.

Sheree Peaple, a trustee of the Heart of Tamworth Community Project, said the charity worked closely with primary schools to identify the families in the greatest need of support.

“We contacted all the primary schools and they nominated the families. They know, for example, which children receive free school meals.

“Poverty is a big problem on our doorstep and we have been supporting people with food parcels during school holidays throughout the Covid period. We wanted to make a big effort over Christmas and partnered with Santa’s Little Helpers. They are excellent at collecting items and distributing them to people who need assistance in the community.”

Dan Welsh, general manager of Tamworth Co-op’s town centre supermarket, said it was a pleasure to support such an important scheme.

“Many people might not realise just how much poverty there is out there in our community. This is such a deserving cause and it was wonderful to be able to offer the charity support over Christmas and bring some festive cheer to hundreds of local homes.

“We initially offered the Heart of Tamworth project £2,000 in cash, but they preferred to have the food instead and our staff were delighted to be involved in putting it together.”

Aldi also donated seasonal products and logistics company Guinan Girls provided assistance.

Fellow Heart of Tamworth trustee Simon Peaple explained: “This was a much bigger project this time round which reflects the number of local families who are struggling. We are fortunate to have wonderful partners and volunteers who all pulled together to make this a success. We even had help from 4th Glascote Brownies who helped to pack some of the parcels and earn themselves a badge into the bargain!”

Richard Berry, Logistics Director at HiB Ltd, was one of the volunteers who helped out, along with several of his colleagues.

He said: “HiB has recently become involved with Heart of Tamworth as we are funding a new play at the Sacred Heart Community Centre. We are keen to help our local community and encourage our staff to volunteer. We had a great day packing and distributing the parcels and look forward to getting involved in more projects in the future.”