Five food and beverage businesses have partnered with UK CSR platform Neighbourly to create a new fund supporting organisations helping those most at risk during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Danone UK & Ireland, Coca-Cola European Partners, M&S, Lidl and Aldi are all existing founding partners of Neighbourly and are calling on other businesses to join them and contribute to the fund.
The Neighbourly Community Fund plans to funnel funds directly to community organisations across the UK and Ireland to ensure they can deliver essential services to those most at risk during the coronavirus crisis, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity.
With almost £500,000 already committed to the fund, the partners aim to provide unrestricted grants to community organisations such as food banks, homeless shelters, care homes, youth groups and health charities.
Immediate micro-grants of up to £400 will be distributed to organisations to contribute towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials.
Founded in 2014, Neighbourly was established to help businesses deliver sustainable community investment into thousands of locations across the UK and Ireland.
Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said: “Now more than ever, communities need to come together and support each other. That’s why we’ve created a new Covid-19 community support fund, to help our business partners channel funds into helping the most vulnerable groups, including elderly people and families that will need extra support over the coming months.
“What is needed by community groups and charities today will be very different over the weeks and months to come. Through the Neighbourly nationwide network of good causes we will work closely with our partners to ensure the right support is directed to those places in most urgent need.”
With the additional pressures caused by coronavirus, Neighbourly’s network of charity partners estimate that they expect to support an average of almost 180 people each week with emergency provisions.
Leendert Den Hollander, VP and general manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “There is nothing more important than communities at a time like this, and we fully support the excellent work Neighbourly is doing to ensure those of us most at risk are equipped with essential supplies and services through this difficult period.”
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