Customers at Swindon's Tesco branches have been thanked after helping to donate more than 1.5million meals’ worth of food to help charities across the country feed people during Christmas and the winter months.
During the twice-yearly Tesco Food Collection, which ran in Tesco stores from 18-20 November, customers were asked to donate long-life food to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
Stores reported that customers had given the highest volume of food donations to support local charities since the start of the pandemic, providing 1.57million meals during the campaign, with shoppers in Wiltshire donating 11,040 meals.
The donations will help foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network provide emergency parcels, as well as helping FareShare supply thousands of frontline charities. Tesco has topped up all customer donations with a 20 percent cash donation to the two charities, to support them in their work feeding people in communities across the UK.
Julian Mines, CEO at FareShare South West, said shoppers’ donations would make a huge difference to the frontline charities they supplied.
He added: “The Food Collection is so important to FareShare because donations of long-life items means we are able to compliment the fresh food that we receive year round from Tesco with staples like rice, tinned vegetables and tea and coffee.
“Thank you to every single Tesco customer who donated to the food collection this year. Your generous donations will help us to continue supporting local charities and community groups that are helping to feed people in need this winter.
Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said the donations would help provide food to people facing impossible decisions this Christmas.
“Throughout 2021, communities across the UK have stepped in to provide vital support to people at food banks left without enough money for the essentials,” Emma added. “This emergency lifeline is only possible due to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers, including those in Wiltshire, during the Tesco Food Collection.
“Right now, people near you are making impossible decisions between staying warm or buying food, as food banks in our network face providing 7,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis every day this month.
"It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for the essentials, but we continue to be truly humbled by how much people are willing to give, so we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks.”
Claire de Silva, Head of Community at Tesco, thanked all those who took part.
She said: “At this time more than ever, we are hugely grateful for the support of all our customers in Wiltshire who have donated in store for making this the biggest collection of long-life food in our stores since the start of the pandemic.
"We know this will make a really significant difference to local people this winter.”