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Tesco supports homeless people with more than just food

David Logan

Director of Ace of Clubs

5 Mar 2017

Tesco’s Community Food Connection programme provides food for Ace of Clubs - a charity that provides support for people who are homeless and vulnerable.

We never turn away anyone in need who arrives at our door. Most visitors first come to Ace of Clubs when they’re hungry and looking for a meal.
 
Many are given shelter, food, warmth, clothing, laundry and showers. We also offer education and advice. I’m delighted that homeless people found homes in 2016 thanks to direct support from the centre.
 

In Need of Food

 
The desperate need for food, support and shelter in our community has increased dramatically over the last few years. We rely solely on fundraising, donations, local and corporate support to keep going. Tesco is one of the companies that supports us through donating food via the Community Food Connection programme with Fareshare.
 
Thanks to food donations we feed over 100 people a day. Some with hot meals, a sandwich and soup in the evening or food parcels to take away. Tesco supplies us with food that would otherwise have gone to waste at the end of the day. The food is fresh and perfectly good to eat. Getting it for free allows us to put the money we would have used to buy food, towards our vital services and support, like our training courses. We pay for people to take the courses, like food hygiene and bike mechanics. It’s a great way of supporting people back into work opportunities.
 

Offering Support

 
We support people like Lisa, who was unable to speak for years following a traumatic experience. Within 18 months of coming to Ace of Clubs, she started to talk again and enjoy life. We supported her through a range of issues she was facing.
 
Then there’s Sean who was homeless for many years. He came to us hungry and looking for help. We were able to give him immediate support but most importantly we helped him to restore his life and really improve his prospects. We paid for him to do a bike mechanics course and he now works in our bike work shop, Ace Bike Club, building bikes for our homeless members and local people. He even had his wedding reception here at Ace of Clubs.
 

Building Relationships

 
Sometimes it starts with a sandwich. Someone arrives, hungry and vulnerable. By offering food and shelter and through friendly and genuine care, we seek to build relationships with people. Our team is skilled and focused on connecting people to a wide range of services including accommodation, welfare, rehab, training and healthcare.
 
We don’t just give people food. We give people the chance to transform their lives.
 
Community Food Connection with FareShare FoodCloud, uses technology to link Tesco stores to over 3,500 local charities and community groups across the UK, who collect surplus food free of charge. Since 2015 Tesco has donated over six million meals to people in need. The scheme will be live in all Tesco stores by the end of 2017. Visit www.tescoplc.com/foodwaste for more information.

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