Let's party like it's 1945! VE Day street parties surprised with free Tesco party food

9 May 2015

Tesco has helped recreate the spirit of ’45 by surprising a number of party hosts across the UK with free food for VE Day street parties.

  • Tesco helps recreate the spirit of ’45 by surprising a number of party hosts with free food for local street parties
  • Tesco has long association with Armed Forces dating back to the supermarket’s founder, Jack Cohen
  • Figures revealed today show Tesco customers have smashed records by donating a record £5.3 million during 2014’s Poppy Appeal, surpassing the previous year’s total by £1 million

Tesco has helped recreate the spirit of ’45 by surprising a number of party hosts across the UK with free food for VE Day street parties.

Friday marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day, which Tesco supported in 1945 by donating food for local street parties and printing special VE Day napkins. In 2015, Tesco colleagues have monitored social media to find people hosting VE Day street parties, sending a selected number Tesco gift cards to spend on treats for their party.

Figures revealed today also show that Tesco customers have broken records by donating over £5 million during the latest Poppy Appeal. This is the biggest ever amount of cash raised by Tesco customers during a Poppy Appeal, and compares to just over £4 million donated by customers at Tesco stores in 2013.

Tesco has a proud record of supporting the Armed Forces dating right back to the retailer’s founder Jack Cohen, who set Tesco up with his demob money after coming home from WW1. Jack himself helped out with a street party in the East End of London to celebrate VE Day in 1945.

Tesco customers are one of the biggest supporters of the Poppy Appeal in the UK, and over £30 million has been donated to the Appeal at Tesco stores since 2005.

Robin Terrell, Chief Customer Officer for Tesco said:

“We think it’s very important we do our bit to remember VE Day, a particularly meaningful day in our nation’s proud history.

“Tesco stores donated free food to local street parties at the time and we want to help people celebrate all over again by supplying free cakes, sausage rolls, and other party treats.

“We are huge supporters of the Armed Forces - our customers showed incredible generosity during the latest Poppy Appeal by raising over £5 million and smashing the previous year’s total for donations. We have supported the Poppy Appeal for many years and our customers see it as a really important cause for us to be involved with.”

In October last year Tesco became the first supermarket to sign up to the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, which included a pledge to provide better support for both serving and former members of the armed forces.

As part of this pledge, Tesco promised to seek out veterans who have left the armed forces for employment and to support spouses and partners of serving personnel to get jobs at Tesco stores in areas with large armed forces communities.

Special consideration is also given to holiday requests from spouses before, during and after their partner’s deployment.

Tesco is one of the biggest employers of reservists and former service personnel, and service with the Reserve Forces is actively promoted to Tesco colleagues.

Louise Ajdukiewicz, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the Legion said:

 “Tesco has been a supporter of the Legion’s Poppy Appeal for over 10 years. We are delighted that in 2014 Tesco smashed all previous fundraising efforts by raising an incredible £5.3m which is £800,000 over their ambitious target for the year.  

“We would like to thank Tesco customers and colleagues for this support, for which we are very grateful. The money raised will help provide practical help, advice and support to the whole of the Armed Forces Community; whether it’s helping veterans to remain independent in their homes, supporting bereaved families; ensuring people have access to the benefits they deserve or offering employment advice. All money raised will help us to continue this support and help us to uphold the memory of the fallen and support the future of the living, so once again, thank you.”


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