Chief Executive of Fareshare
10 Nov 2017
No time to volunteer this Christmas? Think again! You can help feed thousands of people this Christmas.
It’s that time of year again. Well, almost.
Christmas isn’t just about presents, sprouts and watching the Christmas specials. It’s about getting together with friends and family and sparing a thought for those who might be struggling.
If there’s one thing everyone’s got on their Christmas wish-list – it’s time. More time for Christmas shopping (sparing us that frantic Christmas Eve trolley dash). More time for all those after-work parties. And, most importantly, more time to defrost the turkey.
With time in such short supply, it can be easy for our good intentions to fall by the wayside. Thankfully, there is a way you can do something really worthwhile for vulnerable people in your community – and it only takes three hours.
Every year thousands of people head down to their local Tesco to take part in the UK’s biggest food drive, and you could join them.
Proudly wearing their tabards and brandishing suggested shopping lists – they collect vital tins and packets of long-life food for people in need. The food is either sent to Trussell Trust foodbanks or to FareShare’s local depots -- to be distributed to charities who use the dried pasta, cereal and pulses to supplement the fresh surplus food they get from FareShare every week. These include homeless hostels, older people’s lunch clubs and domestic violence refuges.
It’s no understatement to say we couldn’t collect half as much food for local charities without our volunteers. In fact, we know that when volunteers are manning the collection points at the front of the store, we typically collect over 50% more food for those in need.
Yes, it might be hard work, but after just three hours on your feet, you’ll leave knowing that - on average – you’ll have helped collect enough food to create 600 meals.
Signing up for a shift is a great way to meet likeminded people and make new friends – and with hundreds of Tesco stores to choose from, you won’t have to travel far. Alternatively, you could share a shift with friends, family or colleagues – just go to our website (fareshare.org.uk/food-collection) and choose a slot. The Food Collection takes place over three days starting on Thursday 30 November and runs until Saturday 2 December. The more the merrier. We’ve had book clubs, choirs, scouts, guides and five-a-side-football teams all volunteering together – with plenty of ‘healthy competition’ over who can collect the most.
So, if you’re looking for a dose of Christmas cheer, sign up for a three hour shift today. There’s no easier way to make a practical difference in your community, and get good food to people who really need it.
For more information about volunteering for FareShare during the Food Collection and to sign up, please visit: fareshare.org.uk/food-collection