Coles Gladstone team members Siriporn Chaiwetskul and Hemlata Greenough. Photo supplied.
Coles Gladstone team members Siriporn Chaiwetskul and Hemlata Greenough. Photo supplied.

Gladstone shoppers chip in $2.7k for cancer cause

Gladstone customers have raised more than $2700 as part of Coles Group’s record-breaking fundraising appeal to help feed vulnerable Australians and families affected by childhood cancer.

The Port City is being praised for its generosity, with Coles customers digging deep at the Gladstone and Tannum Sands stores to donate to the vital cause despite the financial challenges many Queenslanders are facing due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The impressive fundraising efforts by the local community have contributed to a record-breaking $3.2 million raised across the nation in just four weeks, which helped to support food rescue organisation, SecondBite, and national children’s cancer charity, Redkite.

The total was more than 2.6 times the funds raised during the 2019 Christmas campaign.

Gladstone store manager Ian Bennett was delighted with the result.

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

“Raising more than $2700 in a few short weeks is a terrific effort in a small town.”

More than half of the total funds raised during the national campaign were from Coles supermarket customers who purchased a $2 donation card at the checkout, with further record-breaking donations from Coles Express customers, providing much-needed support

for SecondBite and Redkite, both of which faced increased demand for their services during the holiday season due to the impacts of COVID-19.

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 that nearly a quarter of families it surveyed who had a child diagnosed with cancer, feared they couldn’t afford basics like food, with nearly a third of respondents also saying they didn’t think they could continue to provide for their families.