Coles at Whyalla has commenced a national Christmas appeal to help feed locals doing it tough this festive season.
Customers can show their support for those affected by COVID-19 by purchasing a $2 donation card or donating an amount of their choice at Coles Whyalla until Christmas Eve.
The supermarket is working together with national food relief organisation SecondBite in helping those in need at Christmas time.
According to research from SecondBite, more than in four of its food charities expect Christmas will be more difficult for people they support in the community, with 72 per cent of agencies, including ADRA Whyalla in Mullaquana, reporting an increase in demand for food relief since the pandemic began.
The appeal comes as SecondBite released its 2020 social impact report, which found 88 per cent of community food charities reported a moderate or major impact of COVID-19 on their food relief programs, with lockdown, unemployment and slow return to business resulting in an increased need for food by the most at risk and disadvantaged communities.
Coles Whyalla regional manager Dominic Devirgilio said it was important to remember those in the community who will be doing it tough at Christmas.
"Local charities including ADRA Whyalla are saying that they've seen increased demand for food relief since the COVID-19 pandemic began, so it has never been a more important time to dig deep and help provide meals to people who might otherwise go without," he said.
"By buying a $2 donation card at Coles between now and Christmas Eve, our Whyalla customers can be assured they are making a genuine difference to those who are struggling to make ends meet."
SecondBite co-founder Simone Carson encouraged shoppers to help individuals and families battling this year.
"The charities we work with across Australia have seen first-hand the effect COVID-19 has had on the homeless, unemployed and struggling families and individuals," she said.
"Our charities have told us this Christmas will be like no other because of the impact of COVID-19 with more and more people relying on food relief agencies to provide their next meal. Shoppers cannot underestimate the difference they can make in someone's life with a small donation."
The 2020 Christmas Appeal also supports families affected by cancer, with all proceeds distributed between SecondBite and national children's cancer charity Redkite.