Leading community retailer, Co-op, has teamed up with TOTUM and students’ unions to help some of the thousands of students who currently find themselves in localised lockdown, as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks. An estimated 3,000 students are currently being told to self-isolate following localised coronavirus outbreaks on a number of campuses across the UK.
To ensure that they still have access to high quality, good value essentials from their local Co-op, the convenience retailer has pledged to donate £10,000 worth of stock to relieve those currently living in the worst affected areas including Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oxford, and Swansea. Local students’ unions will be able to pick up basics including rice, pasta, toilet roll, bread and noodles from their local Co-op and distribute it to those students most in need.
On top of this, students in selected major cities across the UK who do their Co-op shop online will receive their shopping within two hours of placing their order; availability of slots permitting. Students can access the offer by downloading the TOTUM app, verifying their student status and place of study, and then grabbing their code.
Chris Whitfield, Chief Operating Officer, Co-op Food, said: ‘It’s important we pull together to support our student communities during these difficult times and we want to help ease the current situation by ensuring that students under lockdown are kept well stocked up with groceries and essentials.
‘We’re delighted that our long-standing relationship with TOTUM and the National Union of Students has enabled us to get help to those most in need, as we play our part in feeding the nation.’
Elizabeth Bone, Communities Director at TOTUM said: ‘With many students confined to their halls of residence – and some even confined to their own rooms – we’ve pooled resources with the Co-op and students’ unions to help them right now as they struggle to obtain adequate amounts of food.
‘By aiming to deliver their Co-op shop to them within two hours of ordering online, we hope it will provide a little bit of positivity at what is undoubtedly a really tough time, and show them that we are thinking of them.’
Speaking on behalf of NUS (National Union of Students) National President Larissa Kennedy said: ‘It’s great to see the student movement and co-operative movement coming together to fill the gaps left by others we look to in such crises.
‘The TOTUM and Co-op offer, provided with the help of students’ unions, is a straight forward answer to the ‘how do I feed myself today?’ question that we sadly know so many students are asking.
‘Access to food is a basic need and we all know the impact that worries about this place upon a person’s mental health and well-being.
‘The quicker we can make sure students have access to food and basic amenities, the quicker we can all focus our efforts on supporting them with the some of the other challenges of this pandemic; access to online learning, mental health services and financial support being just a few.’