Tesco customers donate millions of meals this Christmas

3.5 million meals collected this year; over 52 million meals in total.

Millions of meals have been provided to people in need this Christmas thanks to customer donations at Tesco stores.

A total of 3.5 million meals were collected for food charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust during the Tesco Food Collection, which ran in stores from 29 November to 1 December.

We asked our customers to donate long-life items to help people in need as part of their usual shop. We’re delighted that they were more generous than ever with an increase on the previous year’s collection. With this year’s total of 3.5 million meals, the overall total donated by shoppers since the Tesco Food Collection scheme began in 2012 is more than 52 million meals.

The two charities, FareShare and The Trussell Trust, see an increase in the need for donations at this time of year. The food donated to foodbanks in The Trussell Trust’s network is given in emergency food parcels to people referred because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. Food donated to FareShare is distributed to charities and community groups who use it to provide meals for vulnerable groups such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.

To help the charities in their work, Tesco is once again topping up the value of the customer donations by 20%, providing the two charities with funding to run the foodbanks and distribute the food to those in need.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare, thanked Tesco customers for their generosity:

“The food donated at the Tesco Food Collection will make a tremendous difference to the thousands of charities and community groups that FareShare supports. These groups are doing amazing work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

"Thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers over the festive season, we have enough long-life food to provide meals to those helping people in need across the UK. We’d like to thank everyone who donated, as well as all the volunteers who made the store collections such a success.”

Emma Revie, Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust said:

“Our foodbank network has spent the last month making sure that people referred to them with no money for food don’t go hungry this Christmas. This work has been made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers during the Food Collection.

"Thank you for your support – your generosity has stopped hunger this Christmas.”

Tesco’s UK & ROI CEO Jason Tarry said:

“Year upon year we are taken aback by the generosity of customers who give to the Tesco Food Collection in our stores the length and breadth of the UK. We know that this annual collection makes a real difference to the charities we work with, and I would like to thank everyone who has donated, volunteered or helped in store.

"For our part, we are topping up the value of all the donations by 20% and I am proud that together with our customers and charity partners we are able to feed so many people in need this Christmas.”

Notes to Editors

The figures contained in this release are based on initial returns from Tesco stores.


  • FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, with 21 Regional Centres across the country.
  • In 2017/18, FareShare:
    • Saved 16,992 tonnes of food from waste
    • Helped feed 772,390 people every week
    • Provided enough food for 36.7 million meals
    • Supported 9,653 charities and community groups – a 44% increase on the previous year.
    • Further details at

The Trussell Trust

  • The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity that supports a network of over 420 foodbanks across the UK.
  • In 2017-2018, 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies were provided to people referred to foodbanks in The Trussell Trust’s network, a 13% increase on the previous year. Over a third of supplies (484,026) went to children.
  • It takes more than food to end hunger. The Trussell Trust therefore does three things: supports its network to provide emergency food to people referred; helps foodbanks to provide on-site additional help or signpost people to relevant local charities to resolve the cause of foodbank referral; and brings together the experiences of hundreds of communities on the frontline to challenge the structural issues that lock people in poverty and campaign for long-term change so we can see a future without the need for foodbanks.
  •

Tesco Food Collection in Central Europe

  • Our colleagues in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland also collected 580 tonnes in their customer food collection at the end of November and early December.
  • This was a 12% increase on the year before, donating the equivalent of 1.3 million meals to the foodbanks in each of the four countries.

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