The Community Foundation of Staffordshire, which is seeking to raise £100,000 for communities in the south of the county, has so far raised £20,000 through corporate and personal donations.
The foundation's chief executive Steve Adams said the coronavirus pandemic had a serious impact on many families’ income and finances throughout this year.
"Thousands more children than normal are facing food poverty this Christmas and winter, as well as numerous elderly residents struggling to afford their basic heating costs," he said. "We want to make a difference."
Mr Adams said an estimated 8.4 million people across the UK were struggling to get enough to eat, including many working people.
"It is estimated to be even worse this year due to coronavirus, with many people facing unemployment and unable to access crucial support services due to isolation and lockdowns," he added.
"This has led to many people being faced with the difficult choice of paying either for their heating or being able to afford sufficient quality meals daily. It’s astounding to think that this is happening in 2020.”
Mr Adams said the Community Foundation was ideally placed to directly target those in need through its network across the county.
"We are getting reports from community groups and teachers that support is critical this year due to Covid-19," he said. "Many of the elderly stay silent due to pride. Youngsters do not know where to look for support. Plus, a side effect of food and fuel poverty is that schoolchildren’s education will suffer now and so affect their chances of success in the future."
People can support the campaign by donating through the website justgiving.com/campaign/survivingwinter2020 or they can donate £5 by texting SWSTAFFS to 70085. Companies wishing to make corporate donations can contact the charity by email at email@example.com