Swindon shoppers urged to support food drive

By Barrie Hudson - 29 November 2023


Charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust say they are facing record levels of need throughout the festive season and New Year period.

Many Swindon people expected to need help from the charities.

To support people through what could be the toughest winter for many years, Tesco’s Food Collection will run in Swindon Express stores until 2 December and in large stores from 30 November to 2 December. 

During the collection, customers will be encouraged to donate long-life food to support the charities. This year’s Tesco Christmas Report found that 26 percent of people plan to make a donation to a food bank this year.

The top 10 most-needed items required from Swindon shoppers are UHT and powered milk, tinned meat and fish, sponge/rice pudding, long-life fruit juice, cooking/pasta sauces, tinned vegetables, tinned and dried soup, pasta, rice and noodles, cereal and porridge and tea and coffee.

Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said: "Over the last 10 years our generous customers have helped donate over 100 million meals to communities across the UK. 

"Whether it’s in your local store through the Winter Food Collection or via your Clubcard points online, even the smallest donation can make a real difference to someone else’s Christmas.”

This year will see both charities face their busiest winter yet as more people turn to them for support. The Trussell Trust is expecting to distribute more than a million emergency food parcels between December and February and has reported that alarmingly, 320,000 people have needed to access a food bank for the first time in the past six months.

Meanwhile, FareShare is estimating it will redistribute more than 28,000 tonnes of food this winter, the equivalent of over 68 million meals, up by more than 42 percent compared to last year.

George Wright, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “Over the last decade, Tesco has supplied more than 250m meals to FareShare, more than any other organisation in our history. 

"As we prepare for another challenging winter ahead, the items we collect play a crucial part in our efforts to get food to the communities that need it most.  

"If you’re able to donate just one item at your local store, you’ll be helping to provide a meal for someone facing hunger this winter.”

Emma Revie, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, added: “The support provided by Tesco and their customers is invaluable to the food banks in our network, especially at this time of year when we anticipate that our network will be providing an emergency food parcel every eight seconds. 

"The generous donations received are vital in ensuring food banks can meet the urgent levels of need, whilst we work towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials.”

In the run-up to the Food Collection, Tesco and its charity partners have created an alternative to the traditional Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. 

Unlike the traditional tree in London, Tesco’s tree is located in Trafalgar Square in Scarborough and it is made from the items that FareShare and the Trussell Trust need the most at this time of year, including tinned fruit and vegetables, long life milk and cooking sauces.

The Scarborough tree aims to raise awareness of this increased need and encourage customers to donate what items they can at their local store.

Most importantly, when the tree is taken down, all 1,699 products used in its construction will be donated to the local FareShare hub.


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