30 Jun 2015
From 2 – 4 July we’ll be holding our sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection across our stores and want to make this our most successful yet. We serve over 15,000 local people every week and they donated 8,026 meals in the November collection, which tells us just how generous our community is.
From 2 – 4 July we’ll be holding our sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection across our stores and want to make this our most successful yet. Awareness of foodbanks and other food charities has grown significantly since our first collection in 2012. Back then volunteers had to work very hard to explain how the donated food helped people in need within the local community. Now there’s much greater understanding of how these charities support people, both through emergency food parcels and also advice to help people get back on their feet.
Our brilliant Community Champion here in Caerphilly, Jo, has built up a great relationship with Jeremy and Sue, who run the local foodbank. The work is very close to Jo’s heart – in 2002 she received help from her local foodbank – her child was one at the time, and she was having her benefits renewed but due to an administrative delay she didn’t receive her weekly allowance. At what was a very difficult time she was referred to the foodbank, which not only provided emergency food but also gave her support and information about how she could strengthen her financial position. Now she works tirelessly to help others.
I remember manning the collection with Jo in November and asking a customer if she would like to donate some food. She said “no” and explained that she’d been struggling to pay off her debts. She told me that things were still tough; she struggled with her weekly shop and mainly just bought veg. At one point she said she has gone eight days without a meal. I was taken aback and it played on my mind, so I asked Sue from the foodbank if she could put a few items together as a Christmas parcel.
"We serve over 15,000 local people every week and they donated 8,026 meals in the November collection"
When the customer returned from doing her shopping, I approached her and asked if she would be offended if I offered her a few bits to help. She was so overwhelmed she started crying and could not thank us enough. Sue also gave her the contact number for the local foodbank along with information about how the she could get more help and support. That customer still comes into store and we always say hello and catch up. The food collections are incredibly rewarding and often very emotional – the generous donations customers make and the work of volunteers directly helps people who live in our local community. We serve over 15,000 local people every week and they donated 8,026 meals in the November collection, which tells us just how generous our community is.
If you’d like to support your local collection, you can donate food at your nearest store, there’ll be volunteers on hand to help. To make it easy for customers we’ll have displays of long-life food and we will give out shopping lists with the items that the charities need most. Along with the volunteers from the charities we will also talk to customers about how their donations will make a difference.
On behalf of everyone at the Caerphilly store and the wider Tesco team, I’d like to say a big thank you for all of your support.
The team at the last collection