More than 100,000 Coles team members across the country have been enlisted to the "FightMND Army" to help support the fight against MND in the supermarket aisle.
While games are on hold due to COVID-19, Coles will bring footy fever alive in more than 800 supermarkets by selling FightMND's iconic beanies for the first time at stores across the country.
The beanies will be sold for $20 and all proceeds from the sale of beanies will be directed to fund world-leading MND research in Australia and overseas to find a cure for the terminal and aggressive neurological disease.
Coles will also donate 10 cents from the sale of each pack of Coles Brand fresh pork product at every supermarket to raise further funds. The ten cent donation applies to nearly 90 different types of packs of Coles Brand pork - from spare ribs, sirloin steak, scotch fillet, loin chops, roasts, schnitzel, cutlets and mince.
In addition to the funds raised from beanies and Coles Brand fresh pork, Coles' Aussie pork farmers will also donate to the FightMND foundation during the appeal, which runs until June 16.
Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said after an incredible effort to keep Australians supplied with essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coles team was honoured to join the FightMND army and help support the fight against MND.
"The spread of COVID-19 has posed so many challenges for people across Australia and our hearts go out to those who are particularly vulnerable like sufferers of MND. We're delighted to band together with FightMND and our pork farmers to battle MND in our supermarket aisles," he said.
"By buying a beanie or Coles Brand fresh pork at Coles, customers can help in the fight against this insidious disease. We know it will be difficult for fans not to be able to wear the beanies at the Big Freeze game this year, but they can show their support for this incredible cause by wearing their beanie to the supermarket. The meat department can get chilly and it's the perfect accessory to keep them warm!"
Statistics show that across the country every day, an average of two people are diagnosed with the debilitating illness while another two succumb to the disease.
Bec Daniher, FightMND's Campaign Director and daughter of AFL legend Neale Daniher, says the support of Coles and the Aussie pork farmers, now in its third year, enables FightMND to direct vitally critical funds into the areas of MND research they are needed most.
"We welcome the Coles team and pork farmers to the FightMND Army to help fight the fight against MND. We feel incredibly honoured to have them support our Foundation in a manner that will have a significant impact on discovering new treatments and ultimately a cure for MND," she said.
"Not only does this partnership raise vital funds for MND medical research, it also provides an amazing national platform for FightMND to mobilise the message and awareness of how devastating the disease is."
Fourth generation pork farmer Kim Thorpe said that customers who purchase Coles fresh pork during the campaign are not only supporting FightMND but also the work of Aussie pork farmers.
"Our family, our people and community are so important to us, I just can't imagine what the families of those people suffering MND are going through. This is our third year in a row supporting FightMND. Each year it's got bigger and we're really hoping we can make it even bigger and better this year," she said.
In 2019, Coles and its pork producers together raised nearly $520,000 to fight motor neurone disease, making Coles the largest donor to FightMND.