Millions of meals were donated to food banks and groups feeding people across the UK this Christmas, thanks to Tesco shoppers, the supermarket has announced.
A total of 2.5 million meals were donated to charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare by shoppers during last month’s Tesco Food Collection, with Tesco topping up the value of all the donations by an additional 20%.
The donations to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network were being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare went to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs, which also received surplus food from Tesco stores.
One of the groups that benefited from the donations was Leeds North and West Foodbank. Its manager Karen Burgon said the donations were essential to their work.
“This year we received almost three tonnes of food through the Tesco collection, which is phenomenal. These generous donations make it possible for us to get through the winter period which is often an incredibly difficult time for many people coming to the food bank,” Burgon explained.
“It is humbling to see how much people are willing to give, and the difference this can make when someone is in crisis. We can only continue to provide crucial support with the community’s help. Thank you so much.”
One groups supplied by FareShare that received food from the Tesco Food Collection was the Hopewell Road Community Centre in Hull.
Robbie Keane from the centre said: “The food we received from the Tesco Food Collection [was] used to enhance the quality of support already given to our beneficiaries, especially at this time of year.”
The donations from the three-day collection are in addition to items donated by customers throughout the year at a network of more than 500 permanent collection points at Tesco stores, the company said.
The Tesco Food Collection only ran in stores in the UK from 21 to 23 November.
However, in the year to October, more than seven million meals were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network at those in-store collection points.