A major campaign to help at least 100,000 struggling families with food, comfort and emotional support is to be launched by John Lewis and Waitrose.
The initiative, which the retailers said will be complemented by the Waitrose and John Lewis Christmas advert, will support FareShare, a food poverty charity, and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support.
The campaign, aiming to raise £5 million for the charities, will launch in November.
The two retailers will also be encouraging others, including customers, to help communities over Christmas and beyond.
Customers will be encouraged to make charity donations, and products linked to the campaign will also be available to buy.
Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis & Partners, said: “In a year like no other, the world has changed – so we will be delivering a Christmas campaign like no other.
“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.”
James Bailey, executive director of Waitrose & Partners, said: “This year has created even greater inequality in society with a catastrophic effect on some of the most vulnerable. We are determined to play our part in addressing this.”
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.”
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare’s chief executive, 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.
“We are so delighted to partner with Waitrose and John Lewis to provide support for the thousands of people in need across the UK in the run-up to Christmas and over the winter months.”