Tesco shoppers have donated more than 1.5 million meals worth of food this year to help charities feed people during Christmas and the winter months.
During the twice-yearly Tesco Food Collection initiative, which ran in all Tesco stores in the UK from 18–20 November, the retailer requested customers to donate long-life food to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
Claire de Silva, head of community at Tesco, thanked all those who took part and stated, “At this time more than ever, we are hugely grateful for the support of all our customers who have donated and our volunteers in store for making this the biggest collection of long-life food in our stores since the start of the pandemic. We know will make a really significant difference to local people this winter.”
Tesco added that its stores across the UK reported that customers had given the highest volume of food donations to support local charities since the start of the pandemic, accounting for 1.57 million meals during the campaign.
The donations will help food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provide emergency parcels and help FareShare supply thousands of frontline charities.
According to Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, shoppers’ donations made a huge difference to the frontline charities they supplied.
"The Food Collection is so important to FareShare because donations of long-life items mean we are able to complement the fresh food that we receive year-round from Tesco with staples like rice, tinned vegetables, and tea and coffee," Boswell said.
"Thank you to every single Tesco customer who donated to the food collection this year – your generous donations will help us to continue supporting local charities and community groups that are helping to feed people in need this winter."
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said, "Throughout 2021, communities across the UK have stepped in to provide vital support to people at food banks, left without enough money for the essentials. This emergency lifeline is only possible due to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers during the Tesco Food Collection.
Revie added, “Right now, people near you are making impossible decisions between staying warm or buying food as food banks in our network face providing 7,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis every day this month.
"It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for the essentials, but we continue to be truly humbled by how much people are willing to give and so we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks."