Following a successful collection over the summer, Tesco have asked people across the UK to donate generously during the seventh Neighbourhood Food Collection, which took place in all larger Tesco stores from Thursday 3 December until Saturday 5 December.
The Neighbourhood Food Collection, run by Tesco with partner charities, The Trussell Trust and FareShare, is aiming to provide at least five million meals to people in need this winter as both charities see increased use by families struggling to put food on the table, making it the biggest collection yet.
Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM visited the Llanelli Tesco Store to lend their support during the collection of food for one of Llanelli’s food banks .
Nia said, “It’s a crying shame that in 2015 we need food banks but they have become a lifeline to many people. I would like to thank the hard working volunteers who work tirelessly for the Trussell Trust. We helped highlight the need for donations on this occasion in Tesco’s, but without the year-long dedication of people like Amber Carpenter, Claire Childs and Miriam Evans (to name but a few) who run the food bank at Myrtle House in Llanelli, organisations like the Trussell Trust would simply not be able to operate successfully and do the good work that they do.”
Keith said: “I have supported the work of all local foodbanks in Llanelli as they support so many people in the Llanelli area who are struggling to make ends meet. I would like to encourage anyone who can afford to, to consider buying some extra items as part of the regular shop to donate to the cause this Christmas. We shouldn’t need to have foodbanks but as times continue to be tough for some and with further benefit changes underway, it is up to all of us to come together to support the least well off.”
Since the Neighbourhood Food Collections were launched in 2012, over 27.5 million meals – including a 30% top-up from Tesco – have been donated to people in need by generous Tesco customers. Tesco is hoping that the latest collection will take the total number of meals donated since the collection began beyond 30 million.
As with previous collections, Tesco will add an extra 30% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to the two charities, helping them expand their network and reach more people in need. Examples of how the charities have previously used the Tesco top-up funding include paying for a foodbank warehouse manager, buying essential items in short supply or funding petrol and vehicle costs. Since 2012 the top-up has resulted in combined funding of over £3.6 million to FareShare and The Trussell Trust.
Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said:
“It’s wonderful to see the generosity of our customers every time we run the Neighbourhood Food Collection.
“Every little help can make a big difference, and it’s even more important to donate during the winter because our charity partners often see increased demand for their services during the colder months. This is now our seventh collection and we want to keep up the momentum we’ve built throughout the Neighbourhood Food Collections so far.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said:
“It doesn’t need to take much, sadly, for an individual or a family to start struggling and experience hard times. The Neighbourhood Food Collection really helps us in our work to provide good food to 2,135 amazing frontline organisations which support people who are struggling to feed themselves. Part of that support comes in the way of good nutritious meals, often the first step in helping those vulnerable people back on their feet.”
The Neighbourhood Food Collection relies on, and is bolstered by volunteers. During last winter’s collection in November 2014, approximately 20,000 volunteers across the UK were involved.”
David McAuley, CEO of The Trussell Trust said:
“The Trussell Trust has seen huge rises in referrals to foodbanks in recent years, and it’s surprising how fast a crisis can strike. We’ve seen professionals like nurses and teachers referred to foodbanks – people who you might not expect to need help. Many households are managing their finances perfectly well on a day-to-day basis, but as soon as an unexpected bill or cost comes in, such as a broken boiler or funeral costs, the impact on finances can be devastating. Often, a referral to the foodbank helps people to bridge the gap when the unexpected hits and gives them the breathing room to break out of crisis. Winter is often the hardest time of year for people in poverty, with many having to choose between heating and eating. That’s why we’re so grateful for the food donations from Tesco shoppers which will help stop hunger this Christmas.”
Follow @tescoandsociety and #everycanhelps for the latest on the Neighbourhood Food Collection.