As food banks and frontline charities face up to their hardest Christmas ever, people are being urged to give the gift of their time to take part in the UK’s biggest food donation drive,
The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in all Tesco stores from December 1 to 3 and the Trussell Trust and FareShare are urging volunteers to sign-up to support the event in store.
It comes as both charities face an unprecedented demand for food. The Trussell Trust, which has the largest foodbank network in the UK, has seen a 46% increase in the number of food parcels given out in recent months, while FareShare has a growing list of thousands more frontline charities seeking food.
During the collection Tesco customers will be encouraged to donate long-life food to support the charities in their work. Donations for the Trussell Trust will help its network of food banks provide emergency food parcels to people in crisis, while donations to FareShare will support its food deliveries to thousands of frontline charities. Tesco, which has been partnering with the charities for the past 10 years, will once again top up the customer donations by 20% in cash.
Volunteers are needed to staff the collection points, because, when volunteers are present, they collect considerably more food. The fact that one in five food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust come from donations from Tesco and its customers underlines how much the donations made in store are needed.
Trussell Trust Chief Executive Emma Revie urged people to volunteer. “As winter sets in, even more people will be pushed deeper into poverty and we’re expecting hundreds of thousands of people to be forced to use a food bank in the coming months,” she said.
“This increase in need means that the winter Tesco Food Collection will be more important than ever as food banks work tirelessly to help everyone who needs their support.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare added: “The cost-of-living crisis is forcing more and more people to turn to their local charities for support with food and other services, meaning the demand for FareShare food has skyrocketed.
“The Tesco Food Collection is a vital event for FareShare, helping to bring in much needed long-life food that will help us continue our support of the people most in need this winter. Volunteering at the Tesco Food Collection this December will make a huge difference during this increasingly difficult time.”
You can sign up to volunteer with FareShare at https://fareshare.org.uk/foodcollection/ or with the Trussell Trust at https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/tesco-food-collection/volunteer/