Left to Right: Hannah King, Isle of Wight Foodbank project manager, Co-operative Group area manager Colin Hayward, area manager Gavin Hallam, sector manager Sandy Taskas and team leader Dave Harry, Mill Hill Road store manager Paul Helyer.
THE Isle of Wight Foodbank has teamed up with The Co-op to make it easier for people to donate to the charity.
Fifteen new collection points have opened at Southern Co-operative and Co-operative Group supermarkets and at funeralcare branches around the Island.
It is hoped the move will encourage more people to donate items to the foodbank, which is more in demand than ever. The charity has helped 6,241 people over the past year, compared with 4,018 the previous year.
Project manager Hannah King said: "Having organisations such as The Co-op on board, supporting our work in this way, is fundamental to the success of our being able to keep up with the demand we face."
Southern Co-operative area manager Gavin Hallam said: "Our customers are always so supportive of our community work and fundraising, and we appreciate their generosity with donations of packet, dried or tinned foods to help those in real need. Having more collection points also helps to publicise the scheme for those who need its help."
Last year the Co-op donated £12,500 for a new collection van.
Mike Partridge, of the Trussell Trust, the charity that runs the foodbank, said: "It's partnerships like this that ensure local communities are equipped to help their hungry neighbours. One in five UK mums are skipping meals to feed their children and rising living costs mean more families are struggling than ever. Over the last six months we have seen the demand for foodbanks triple."
The new collection points have been installed at stores in Cowes, Freshwater, Lake, Ryde, Shanklin and Newport, and funeralcare branches in Sandown, Newport, Ryde, Freshwater, Shanklin and East Cowes.
The foodbank has asked for dried, tinned or packet food including cereals, tea and coffee, rice and pasta, tinned meat and fish, pasta sauces, tinned tomatoes, fruit and sponge pudding, UHT milk, biscuits and snack bars.