Record food donations to charity

Volunteers and donors thanked.

Gurvinder Sidhu of the FareShare charity writes about their recent initiative.

FareShare wants to thank volunteers who helped the charity collect a record number of food donations in Tesco stores across the UK for people in need.

From 27th to 29th November 1,787 volunteers volunteered on behalf of FareShare during Tesco’s Neighbourhood Food Collection to help collect a record 4.7 million meals for people in poverty. Tesco’s Neighbourhood Food Collection is the biggest national food drive to help people facing hunger with donations going to food redistribution charity FareShare and foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

FareShare volunteers gave up over 8,000 hours of their time to complete over 2,600 volunteering shifts in Tesco stores nationwide. This adds up to 48 weeks worth of time donated in just 3 days, which aimed to collect enough food to feed vulnerable and hungry people this winter.

The food collected for FareShare will go to its 1,711 local member charities and projects including breakfast clubs for vulnerable children, lunch clubs for older people, women’s refuge centres, homeless hostels and drop in centres for people recovering from addiction.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare UK said: “I would like to thank everyone who gave up their time so selflessly for FareShare to help people facing hardship this winter. All of our volunteers made a huge impact on the record amount of donations in this Neighbourhood Food Collection to help people through our charity members.

“No-one should be facing food hunger, poverty and isolation at any time of year, let alone at Christmas. Our volunteers have helped us collect record amounts of food so we can help reach more people in need.”

Customers in Tesco stores donated record amounts of tinned meat, fish, pies, soup, vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, cooking sauces, tea, coffee and long life milk. The amount of food allocated to FareShare has been delivered to the charity’s 20 Regional Centres in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales who in turn will redistribute it to local charities and projects supporting vulnerable and socially excluded people.

FareShare charity members also receive surplus food from FareShare as the charity aims to fight food poverty and food waste. Surplus food from the food industry saves each charity member over £13,000 a year, allowing them to reinvest that money into life-changing support for vulnerable people, such as housing employment and benefits advice, counselling and training.

Volunteering partners for November’s Neighbourhood Food Collection include the British Red Cross and BT as well as Elanco, Sodexo, Aspen, Workspace, Produce World, Kellogg’s, Greencore, Thanet Earth and the Food and Drink Federation.

The food collected will benefit those living in food poverty, many of whom struggle the most during the winter months. Tesco provides a 30% top up to the charities on all food donated.

The news of the record breaking Neighbourhood Food Collection comes as a survey by YouGov and commissioned by Tesco reveals that a third (32%) of the British public have remembered vulnerable people in need by generously donating food to those in need across the country. The survey also reveals the spread of generosity across the Britain, as the North West comes out on top as the most generous region (39%), ahead of Wales (38%), South East (37%) and Scotland (37%).