Co-op's boss donates part of salary to help people who rely on food banks

THE boss of a leading mutual is donating part of his salary to kick-start a fund which helps vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Co-op CEO Steve Murrells is directing his own personal income to support a Co-op Members Fund, which will be channelled into food banks, a funeral hardship fund and front-line community causes.

The boss of the £10bn turnover business is donating 20 per cent of his salary over a three month period into the newly created Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund. The fund has been established so that the Co-op’s 4.6 million members can donate their unspent existing member rewards, totalling more than £30m, into these vital areas.

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Initially The Co-op Members fund will be supporting food banks, a funeral bereavement fund established for those in financial hardship and local causes that are already being supported by the Co-op and working to alleviate the impact of the lockdown.

Steve Murrell

Co-op members receive a five per cent reward every time they buy an own-brand product or service which is held in an online wallet which can be redeemed on future purchases. By visiting the Co-op’s website members will be able to donate the existing money in their wallet to the Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund.

Mr Murrells said: “Millions of people are suffering financial hardship at the moment and so it felt right for me to offer to take this pay cut and directly support causes which are very important to me and close to my heart.

“One per cent of what our members spend already goes to local causes and now if they wish they can donate their 5 per cent personal rewards to help lessen the impact the emergency is having on millions of our fellow citizens.”

Last week the Co-op announced it had pulled its Easter TV advertising campaign so it could promote the work of food bank charity FareShare.

In partnership with the charity, the Co-op created a TV commercial in tribute to the local heroes who are playing their part in feeding the nation during the Coronavirus crisis.

It encouraged customers to support food banks by either donating in-store or via a text to a dedicated number, both of which will boost the £1.5million of food Co-op has already pledged to FareShare.

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