Shoppers in Renfrewshire are being urged to help people in need this Christmas by donating food during the UK’s biggest food collection.
The Tesco Food Collection launches across the supermarket’s stores tomorrow, with customers being invited to give long-life food to support the work of charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare, helping people who cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.
The long-life food donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network is given in emergency food parcels to people referred because they don’t have enough money coming in to cover essential costs. Food donated to FareShare is distributed to charities and community groups who use it to provide meals for vulnerable groups such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.
Last year generous shoppers donated more than 3.5 million meals-worth of food during the Tesco Food Collection. This year the supermarket is hoping to top that figure. Once again Tesco will be topping up the value of the customer donations by an additional 20% to help the charities in their work.
Elizabeth Alexander of the Renfrewshire Food Bank knows how important food donations can be for families who are in need of support in their day-to-day lives. The group has more than 100 volunteers and over the past year, has given out 95 tonnes of food to more than 10,000 people across Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone and Erskine.
“Our operation is truly a community effort and the work that we do here is vital for families across the region. We see families each week who rely on donations from us, some of whom haven’t eaten in days, and it’s thanks to donations from the community and through schemes such as the Tesco Food Collection that allow us to help.” said Elizabeth Alexander from the group.
“Even simple items such as tinned fruit, diluting juice and jam can make a huge difference to someone who needs it. The Tesco Food Collection scheme is a wonderful opportunity for the food bank because not only do we get additional food donations through the campaign, we can also raise awareness of our cause both for donations and food collections. It’s always fantastic to see the community join together to help those in need and we’d like to thank Tesco and the Trussell Trust for once again choosing to support us.”
Tesco’s Group Communications Director Christine Heffernan, who is volunteering with FareShare during the collection, urged customers to donate.
“We know that the items our customers donate can make a real difference to people who really need that little bit of extra help this year – whether it is in a food parcel for someone at a time of crisis, or a part of a hot meal which means a vulnerable person does not feel lonely this Christmas,” she said.
“Both FareShare and the Trussell Trust do amazing work and we are proud to do our bit at Tesco by topping up the public donations to the Tesco Food Collection by 20%.”
The Tesco Food Collection runs from Thursday, November 21 until Saturday, November 23. Look out for donation points at the front of Tesco stores throughout the UK.