COLES TO MATCH DONATIONS TO SUPPORT RED CROSS DISASTER FUND Fund to support communities affected by flood and fire

For the next two weeks, Coles has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar every customer donation to Red Cross to help communities affected by natural disasters, such as the floods in Far North Queensland and bushfires in Tasmania and Victoria.

The combined donations raised at checkouts and matched by Coles will be provided to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to help communities affected by disaster by deploying specially trained teams to provide support to people displaced by the emergency, deliver ongoing support for people affected and assistance for communities to recover.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said: “Our thoughts are with those who are affected by fires and floods and we are doing what we can at a local level to help by donating blankets, food and pallets of water in Tasmania, and chartering planes and a sea barge to deliver groceries and household essentials to flood-affected customers in Far North Queensland.”

“But we want to do more to help these communities at this difficult time by matching customer donations over the next two weeks at every checkout across Australia for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.”

Red Cross National Emergency Services Manager Andrew Coghlan says: “With more and more disasters in our region, a generous donation at a Coles checkout to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recover Fund will help communities who need it most. It means that trained Red Cross teams can be there as soon as disaster strikes in Australia and stand with them on their road to recovery. Right now Red Cross is supporting communities impacted by floods in Queensland and fires in Victoria and Tasmania and these funds will help us with this work.”

“Donations could also go towards programs to help communities be better prepared before emergencies happen, so that they recover better in the long term,” he said.

Red Cross teams are responding to flooding in North Queensland by working at evacuation centres at Townsville, Bluewater and Alligator Creek, registering people and providing psychological first aid. More than 700 people spent Sunday night in the centres and over the weekend, Red Cross provided psychological first aid to people in Port Douglas.

In Tasmania, Red Cross teams have been providing psychological first aid and registering people at evacuation centres in Huonville and other areas. And with several major fires burning over the weekend in Victoria, Red Cross teams supported people at relief centres in Daylesford, Moe and Sale.

To support the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, customers can donate $2, $5, $10 or an amount of their choice at any Coles supermarket nationally. Donations made at the checkout will be matched dollar for dollar by Coles until February 20.

/Public Release.