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Millions of meals donated by kind-hearted Tesco shoppers this Christmas

Millions of meals have been donated to food banks and groups feeding people in communities across the UK thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers, figures released today reveal.

A total of 2.5 million meals were donated to charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare by shoppers during last month’s Tesco Food Collection, with Tesco topping up the value of all the donations by an additional 20%.

The food is now helping feed people in communities across the country. The donations to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network are being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare go to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs who also receive surplus food from Tesco stores.

One of the groups benefitting from the generous donations is the Leeds North and West Foodbank. Its manager Karen Burgon said the donations were essential to their work:

“This year we received almost three tonnes of food through the Tesco collection which is phenomenal. These generous donations make it possible for us to get through the winter period which is often an incredibly difficult time for many people coming to the food bank.

“It is humbling to see how much people are willing to give, and the difference this can make when someone is in crisis. We can only continue to provide crucial support with the community’s help - thank you so much.”

One of the groups supplied by FareShare receiving food from the Tesco Food Collection is the Hopewell Road Community Centre in Hull. Robbie Keane from the centre said:

“The food we received from the Tesco Food Collection will be used to enhance the quality of support already given to our beneficiaries, especially at this time of year.” 

The donations from the three-day collection are in addition to items donated by customers throughout the year at a network of more than 500 permanent collection points at Tesco stores. In the year to October more than 7 million meals were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network at those in-store collection points.

Tesco Director Christine Heffernan thanked customers for their donations.

“On my visits to stores during the Collection I was taken aback by the generosity of our customers. I would like to thank all those who donated and we will be doing our bit by topping up all the donations by 20%.”

The Trussell Trust’s Chief Executive Emma Revie also thanked customers.

“Food banks up and down the country could not do what they do without the incredible support of the public and their loyal volunteers who work tirelessly to help people when they need support the most. An emergency food parcel, listening ear and compassionate, practical advice at the food bank can make a real difference when someone is facing a crisis. Any donations help make that difference.”

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, added:

"We are hugely grateful to every single person who volunteered and donated items during this year's Tesco Food Collection - it was wonderful to see so many passionate people lending a hand to support us. All items donated by Tesco customers will be redistributed by FareShare to charities and community organisations and will help to ensure more people get a hot, nutritious meal."

The Tesco Food Collection ran in all Tesco stores in the UK from November 21 to 23.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

About the Trussell Trust:

  • We’re here to end the need for food banks in UK.
  • We support a UK-wide network of more than 1,200 food bank centres and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
  • Our most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by our network: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/
  • You can read more about our work at trusselltrust.org

About FareShare:

FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, with 21 Regional Centres across the country. It takes food from the food industry that can’t be sold in shops, either because of packaging errors or a short shelf life or overproduction. That food, which is the same as the food you’d eat at home, is then redistributed through a network of 11,000 frontline organisations, across the UK such as homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, domestic violence refuges, older people’s lunch clubs, food banks and hospices. FareShare provides enough food to create almost a million meals for vulnerable people every week.

FareShare Key Statistics (2018/19)

  • Last year we saved 20,838 tonnes of food from waste
  • We provided enough food for 46.5 million meals (that’s 893,737 meals for vulnerable people every week)
  • We supported 10,942 charities and community groups
  • The food we supplied enabled the charity sector to make £33.7 million in savings
  • We have 21 regional centres across the country, and deliver food to over 1,900 towns and cities
  • We get food from 500 food companies right across the food supply chain
  • We saved 74,171,500 kg of carbon

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