Tesco collects nearly 3 million meals to feed people in need

13 Dec 2016

Generous Tesco customers got into the festive spirit by donating more than 2.8 million meals to people in need during the ninth Neighbourhood Food Collection, which took place between 1 and 3 December.

This collection brings the total number of meals collected by Tesco customers to an astounding 41 million since the programme began in 2012.

The collection provides essential food for people in need over the festive period and beyond, and will now be redistributed through foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity, FareShare.

During the collection, Tesco customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, tinned vegetables, tinned meat and Christmas treats. Volunteers from Trussell Trust foodbanks and FareShare joined Tesco colleagues in store over the course of the three days to collect donations from kind-hearted customers.

Tesco will add an extra 20% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to the two charities. This financial top up is used by The Trussell Trust and FareShare to provide additional services such as counselling and housing advice, volunteering and training opportunities as well as helping to cover running costs in order to provide more food to people in crisis.

Matt Davies, UK and ROI CEO at Tesco said:

“Once again we’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity our customers have shown in their local communities for the Neighbourhood Food Collection. With winter upon us, it’s absolutely essential this food now goes to helping those in need.

“The collection could not take place without the support and response from our colleagues and volunteers, and we want to thank everyone involved who helped to make this collection so successful.”

The donations come at a vital time when both The Trussell Trust and FareShare see an increase for their support.

David McAuley, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, said

“The staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, means foodbanks UK wide will be able to provide vital food and support to people who are struggling during what could be our busiest December yet. Thank you for your support - your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said:

“What we’re seeing, right across the country, is an increased demand from the organisations we work with for more food. They have more mouths to feed. There has been a 26% increase in the number of charities signing up to FareShare in the last year, so without the Neighbourhood Food Collection we simply couldn’t meet the growing demand. Every single item of food donated will make a difference, so thank you to everyone involved.”

In addition to the Neighbourhood Food Collection, Tesco has over 600 permanent collection points across the UK where customers can donate food each week.

Food collections also took place at Tesco stores in Central Europe with over 1.1 million meals collected across Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic – a 20% increase on last year's collection. Tesco will add an extra 20% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to charity partners in Central Europe too.

 

Notes to the Editor

• Since the Neighbourhood Food Collection began in 2012, Tesco customers have donated 41 million meals – this includes customer donations as well as the 20% top-up from Tesco and food donated to our permanent collection points.
• Some Tesco stores collect for their local Trussell Trust foodbank, which will provide a minimum of 3 days’ emergency food supplies to people that have been identified as being in crisis by frontline agencies such as Citizen’s Advice, children’s centres or housing associations. Other stores collect for their regional FareShare depot, where the food is redistributed to community groups and local charities.

About The Trussell Trust

• Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy or bereavement to welfare problems or receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. The Trussell Trust’s network of over 420 foodbanks provides three days’ emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK.
• From April 2015 to April 2016, Trussell Trust foodbanks provided 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Of those helped, 415,866 went to children.
• Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional like a Citizens Advice worker, health visitor or children’s centre.
• Trussell Trust foodbanks do much more than food: they provide a listening ear and help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis either through signposting onto relevant local charities or providing on-site immediate support, such as holiday clubs or budgeting and cookery courses.
• Find out more at www.trusselltrust.org

About FareShare

FareShare is a UK-wide charity that tackles food waste and food poverty by redistributing in date, good food from the food & drink industry, that would otherwise go to waste, to frontline charities and community groups that support vulnerable people, including homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations transform the food into nutritious meals, which they provide alongside life-changing support.

In 2015/16, FareShare redistributed 10,795 tonnes of food to 4,652 charities and community groups, enough to provide 21.9 million meals for people in need with an estimated value to the charity sector of £21.7 million. FareShare helped to feed 499,140 people every week. To find out more, please visit www.fareshare.org.uk

 

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