Tesco customers have got into the festive spirit by donating more than 2.8 million meals to people in need to the grocer’s annual Neighbourhood Food Collection.
This brings the total number of meals collected by Tesco customers to 41 million since the supermarket chain’s Neighbourhood Food Collection programme began in 2012.
The food will now be redistributed through foodbank charity The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare.
During the collection, held between December 1 and December 3, Tesco customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, tinned vegetables, tinned meat and Christmas treats.
Volunteers from Trussell Trust and FareShare joined Tesco staff in-store over the three days to collect the donations.
Tesco will add an extra 20% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to the two charities. This will be used to provide services such as counselling, housing advice, volunteering and training opportunities, and will help cover running costs.
Matt Davies, UK and ROI ceo of Tesco, said: “Once again we’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity that our customers have shown in their local communities for the Neighbourhood Food Collection. With winter upon us, it’s absolutely essential that this food now goes to helping those in need.
“The collection could not take place without the support and response from our colleagues and volunteers, and we want to thank everyone involved who helped to make this collection so successful.”
Trussell Trust chief executive David McAuley added: “The staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, means foodbanks UK-wide will be able to provide vital food and support to people who are struggling during what could be our busiest December yet. Thank you for your support – your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas.”
FareShare ceo Lindsay Boswell commented: “What we’re seeing, right across the country, is an increased demand from the organisations we work with for more food. They have more mouths to feed.
“There has been a 26% increase in the number of charities signing up to FareShare in the last year, so without the Neighbourhood Food Collection we simply couldn’t meet the growing demand. Every single item of food donated will make a difference. So thank you to everyone involved.”
In addition to the Neighbourhood Food Collection, Tesco has more than 600 permanent collection points across the UK where customers can donate food each week.