By Jo Whitfield, Food CEO

Today we’re launching an exciting update to our Donate advertising campaign, starring our wonderful colleagues, and a very special guest.   ​

The ad features England international footballer Marcus Rashford, who joins our colleague line-up in a new edit of our fun video-conferencing style TV ad to raise money for food charity FareShare. As a supporter of FareShare, Marcus has already made multiple significant donations to the charity, and has given us his time for the ad for free. We’re really delighted to be working with him to help us get the message out there.   ​

Marcus filmed himself at home, just as so many of our fab colleagues did, sending in their video selfies from their place of work, to sit alongside those of FareShare colleagues, too. So, in spite of social distancing, we’ve been able to get everyone together to unite behind one simple ‘donate’ message. The ad launches today across TV and social channels, including Marcus’ own channels – he has 8m followers on Instagram and 2.5m on Twitter so it’s a really great way to boost our reach to even more people.    ​

And we’ve already made a huge difference. Last month, we started encouraging the nation to donate what they can in store or by text and through members’ donating their 5% reward balance. We’ve already raised enough to provide millions of meals for those who need it most. One customer donated £1,000 in store – amazing!   ​

Food poverty is a real issue. The demand for food banks has tripled in some towns and cities in the UK and they urgently need donations. Our ad’s been a great success so far, but we want to do more.  So we’re asking the nation to join us by donating:   ​

  • in store – bar codes let you donate 50p, £1, £2, £5 or any combination of those amounts
  • by text – just text MEALS to 70490 to give £10 ​
  • from your 5% member reward balance to our Co-op Coronavirus Members’ Fund which goes to FareShare, our new Funeralcare Hardship Fund and other local community causes ​

We want to work together to provide urgent help to those who need it most and to do that, we need to pull together. That’s what co-operation is all about – and, right now, that’s needed more than ever.   ​

Here’s a sneak peak with our 15 second ad we launched today on social, ahead of the full ad launching on Thursday.