SHOPPERS out for their essential groceries are being asked to support a food collection taking place at a supermarket this week.
Branches of Tesco’s supermarkets and Express stores will welcome donations which will go to food banks and community groups who will be helping people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tesco Food Collection takes place every year in Wokingham, but organisers say that this year’s collection is more vital than ever – Trussell Trust food banks and community groups that receive food from Fareshare, including Wokingham’s foodbank, say that they are facing an unprecedented need for supplies.
Last year, shoppers donated more than 3 million meals’ worth of food during the collection. Tesco says it will once again top up the value of donations with an additional 20% in cash.
Claire De Silva, Tesco’s head of community, said: “Every year, Tesco customers in Wokingham are incredibly generous. But this year is not a normal year, and the two charities we work with need to provide more food than ever this Christmas.
“A single tin of tuna or vegetables may not seem like much to give, but if enough people make a small donation, then together those donations can make a really big difference to people who need our help this winter.”
She added: “Tesco will top up the value of every tin, packet or carton given, helping food banks to keep the lights on this Christmas and FareShare vans to deliver food to people who really need it.”
The Trussell Trust’s network of food banks is expected to give out six emergency food parcels to people in crisis every minute this winter.
Its chief executive Emma Revie said: “The pandemic has shown the power of what happens when we stand together in the face of adversity and how much people are willing to give in order to support their community.
“To have the ongoing support of Tesco and their customers is crucial. Items donated during this year’s Food Collection will allow food banks in our network to provide the best possible help to people in the run-up to Christmas.
“Every donation will make such a difference, so please do consider donating in-store.”
Food donated to FareShare will help 11,000 charities and community groups to provide meals for vulnerable groups, such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “The Tesco Food Collection is absolutely vital this year.
“The effects of the pandemic are being felt far and wide, with more people than ever turning to their local charities and community groups for help because they’re unable to feed themselves and their families.
“Demand for food from FareShare has more than doubled over the last few months, so if you are able to donate just one item it will go such a long way in helping us support the thousands of people in need across the UK.”
The Tesco Food Collection runs in Express stores from today and in larger Tesco stores from Thursday until Saturday, November 21. Customers unable to donate food in store can still help both charities by donating Tesco Clubcard points or donating via the Tesco website.
Wokingham Foodbank festive shopping list
- Christmas Pudding
- Small Christmas Cake
- Selection boxes
- Small Boxes of Chocolates
- Biscuits for Cheese
- Boxes of Biscuits
- Hot Chocolate
- Paper napkins
- Mince Pies
- Tinned Fruit
- Tinned cream
- No alcohol
Wokingham foodbank does not have any fridge or freezer facilities and are unable to accept perishable items.