Coles worker Hayden Allen.
Coles worker Hayden Allen.

More than $3k raised by Rocky shoppers

Rockhampton Coles customers raised more than $3,200 as part of a fundraising appeal to help families affected by childhood cancer.

The efforts at Rockhampton North, Rockhampton South, and Yeppoon stores contributed to a total $3.2 million raised across the country in four weeks.

About $1.57 million went towards food rescue organisation SecondBite and nearly $1.5 million to national children’s cancer charity Redkite.

More than half the funds raised were from Coles supermarket customers who purchased a $2 donation card at the checkout.

Research released by SecondBite in November showed more than three-quarters of its food charities expected Christmas would be more difficult for the people they support in the community, with 72 per cent of agencies also reporting an increase in demand for food relief since COVID-19 began.

Redkite revealed in December 2020 that nearly a quarter of families it surveyed that had a child with cancer feared they couldn’t afford basics, such as food, and nearly a third of respondents said they didn’t think they could continue to provide for their families.

Coles state general manager Jerry Farrell said the generosity of Queensland shoppers was crucial for those in hardship.

“While 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, it was great to see such incredible generosity from Queenslanders to provide support for families and individuals doing it tough,” he said.

“Rockhampton locals in particular should be extremely proud of their efforts.

“It is amazing to see Rockhampton locals pull together and donate to Australian charities SecondBite and Redkite.”

SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said money raised would help provide the equivalent of 7.8 million meals to people in need.

“2021 will come with a range of legacy challenges from COVID-19 and the bushfires, and their collective impact on both the economy and communities across the country,” he said.

Redkite CEO Monique Keighery said: “Across Australia, demand for our counselling and support services went up by a massive 30 per cent as families grappled with the daunting task of keeping their immunocompromised child safe during the pandemic, along with the daily struggle of paying for groceries, household bills and hospital trips.

“For families who have a child with cancer, 2020 was a devastating year but thanks to the incredibly generous support of Coles customers, Redkite will be able to stay on the front lines to deliver the practical, emotional and financial support these families so desperately need.”

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