John Lewis and Waitrose are preparing to launch a campaign next month to provide support for at least 100,000 families and raise £5m for two charities.
The initiative aims to complement this year's Waitrose and John Lewis Christmas advert. It will support FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty, and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support.
An appeal will be launched in November aiming to raise £5m for the charities.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, said: “In what has been an incredibly tough year for so many, more people than ever are turning to local charities and community groups for support because they simply can’t afford the food they need to feed their families and themselves.
“At FareShare, the demand for food has more than doubled as a result of the pandemic, so this partnership comes at such a crucial time.”
Customers will be encouraged to support the campaign in a number of ways.
For example, charity donations will be matched by the retailer to the value of £2m, and shopping in one of the two retailers’ shops and using their loyalty card will trigger a donation to the two charities.
A further fund of more than £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local disadvantaged family charities in the communities they serve.
Peter Grigg, chief executive of Home-Start UK, said: “We have all seen first-hand how the pandemic is pushing families to the edge, especially those already facing challenges in their lives. Home-Start is there for families when they need us most and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic.
“But there is so much more to do. Working with John Lewis Partnership colleagues, customers and communities, we can reach more families and communities at this vital time. We are proud to be a partner in this exciting ambition to transform the lives of thousands of families and children this Christmas and beyond.”