Tesco customers have donated an incredible 3.6 million meals during the sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection this summer. The figure is an increase of 13% compared to last summer’s collection.
The food will be redistributed to people in need via charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust, with Tesco adding an extra 30% to all customer donations.
There has also been a significant increase in the amount of food customers are donating day in day out at in-store permanent collection points. Over 2.1 million meals worth of food were donated at permanent collection points in 507 Tesco stores in the first six months of 2015, almost as much as the whole of 2014 combined.
The total of meals donated to people in need since The Neighbourhood Food Collection began in December 2012 is now at 27.5 million. This includes food donated at in-store permanent collection points, local collections, Tesco’s 30% top-up, plus surplus food from Tesco’s dotcom distribution centres. The total figure for 2015 alone is over 6 million.
During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals and tinned fruit and vegetables. Volunteers from The Trussell Trust, FareShare, BT and the British Red Cross joined Tesco colleagues in store to collect donations from generous customers.
The food collected will benefit people living in food poverty, many of whom are parents struggling with food costs due to lack of free school meals over the long summer holiday. Over 800,000 families have to pay for childcare costs, with this averaging out at £64 a week. More than a quarter of families also rely on the help of grandparents or other extended family just to ensure that their children have sufficient food during the holidays. *
Food poverty continues to be a serious issue across the UK as figures published by The Trussell Trust this winter showed the number of people helped by foodbanks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year is 38% higher than numbers helped during the same period last year.
Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco, said: “The response from our customers, colleagues and volunteers has been incredible and it’s thanks to them that our sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection has gone so well. It’s inspiring that our customers are so generous and give so much to help people in food poverty.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “Yet again we have been blown away by everyone’s generosity. We are very grateful to Tesco and their colleagues for hosting the event, our amazing volunteers and partner organisations across the country who selflessly gave up their time to help collect food donations to the great British public who responded so generously to the call for action. The food will now be redistributed to over 1,923 charities and community projects supported by FareShare, including play schemes supporting children and families over the holidays. The donations from this Neighbourhood Food Collection will make a huge difference to these organisations’ ability to not only serve nutritious meals for people in need but also to provide additional support to help people back on their feet. Thank you!”
David McAuley, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, said: “We are truly grateful for the amazing effort by Tesco store staff, customers, volunteers and foodbanks in this year’s summer Neighbourhood Food Collection. The donations will make a huge difference to foodbanks’ ability to not only provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food to people in need but also additional support to tackle the root causes of poverty. It is timely given the additional pressure on families of providing lunch time meals and child care during the summer school holiday months.
“I would like to say a special thank you to everyone at Tesco who help make this event such a success. Since the Neighbourhood Food Collection inception in the summer of 2012 Tesco customers have donated over 27 million meals to help feed people in crisis.”