John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have announced plans for a Christmas appeal to raise £5m to support at least 100,000 families, in partnership with FareShare and Home-Start.
The appeal will be “complemented” by this year’s John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas advertising push, according to a spokeswoman for the John Lewis Partnership, which owns the two retailers.
With the appeal campaign, which launches next month, the partnership will try to harness what it described as the spirit and thoughtfulness of the Covid-19 pandemic to provide additional support for at least 100,000 families.
It will support food poverty charity FareShare, which has recently received a record number of donations as the footballer Marcus Rashford continues his campaign to end child food poverty, and the parent support charity Home-Start.
The two retailers will be encouraging partners, as their members of staff are known, and customers to spread kindness in their own communities and encourage support for the campaign by making a donation or buying one of a range of limited-edition campaign products.
Shoppers who use their loyalty cards will also trigger a donation to the two charities. Donations will be matched up to the value of £2m.
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.
“Working with John Lewis Partnership colleagues, customers and communities, we can reach more families and communities at this vital time.”
An additional fund of more than £1m has been created to help each of the retailers’ shops partner FareShare and Home-Start as well as a range of local charities supporting disadvantaged families in the communities they serve.
Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis & Partners, said: “During 2020 we’ve seen some inspiring and heartwarming acts of kindness throughout our country and our communities.
“Now we want to build on this spirit to create a legacy that extends well beyond Christmas. Together we can all make a big difference to the families who need our help most.”