· Significant rise in number of donations from in-store permanent collection points from January – July 2015
· More than 27.5 million meals have been provided to people in need since Neighbourhood Food Collection began
Tesco customers have donated an incredible 3.6 million meals during the sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection this summer. The figure is an increase of 13% compared to last summer’s collection.
The food will be redistributed to people in need via charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust, with Tesco adding an extra 30% to all customer donations.
There has also been a significant increase in the amount of food customers are donating day in day out at in-store permanent collection points. Over 2.1 million meals worth of food were donated at permanent collection points in 507 Tesco stores in the first six months of 2015, almost as much as the whole of 2014 combined.
During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals and tinned fruit and vegetables. Volunteers from The Trussell Trust, FareShare, BT and the British Red Cross joined Tesco colleagues in store to collect donations from generous customers.
The food collected will benefit people living in food poverty, many of whom are parents struggling with food costs due to lack of free school meals over the long summer holiday. Over 800,000 families have to pay for childcare costs, with this averaging out at £64 a week. More than a quarter of families also rely on the help of grandparents or other extended family just to ensure that their children have sufficient food during the holidays. *
Food poverty continues to be a serious issue across the UK as figures published by The Trussell Trust this winter showed the number of people helped by foodbanks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year is 38% higher than numbers helped during the same period last year.
Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco, said: “The response from our customers, colleagues and volunteers has been incredible and it’s thanks to them that our sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection has gone so well. It’s inspiring that our customers are so generous and give so much to help people in food poverty.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “Yet again we have been blown away by everyone’s generosity. We are very grateful to Tesco and their colleagues for hosting the event, our amazing volunteers and partner organisations across the country who selflessly gave up their time to help collect food donations to the great British public who responded so generously to the call for action. The food will now be redistributed to over 1,923 charities and community projects supported by FareShare, including play schemes supporting children and families over the holidays. The donations from this Neighbourhood Food Collection will make a huge difference to these organisations’ ability to not only serve nutritious meals for people in need but also to provide additional support to help people back on their feet. Thank you!”
David McAuley, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, said: “We are truly grateful for the amazing effort by Tesco store staff, customers, volunteers and foodbanks in this year’s summer Neighbourhood Food Collection. The donations will make a huge difference to foodbanks’ ability to not only provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food to people in need but also additional support to tackle the root causes of poverty. It is timely given the additional pressure on families of providing lunch time meals and child care during the summer school holiday months.
“I would like to say a special thank you to everyone at Tesco who help make this event such a success. Since the Neighbourhood Food Collection inception in the summer of 2012 Tesco customers have donated over 27 million meals to help feed people in crisis.”
About the Neighbourhood Food Collection:
· Tesco works with its food collection partners, foodbank charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare, to launch the Neighbourhood Food Collection.
· From 2-4 July 2015 Tesco customers were encouraged to donate at Tesco food collection points.
· Collections began in Express stores on 22 June.
· The donations to the Neighbourhood Food Collection go to either FareShare or The Trussell Trust – benefitting families and individuals across the UK.
· Tesco provides 30% top up to the charities based on the total weight of the food donated.
· To date, the campaign has collected 21.5 million meals for people in need since it launched in 2012.
· Top-up based on estimated value of food calculated by The Trussell Trust (England & Wales No. 1110522 & Scotland No.SC044246) or FareShare (No.1100051). The total meals figure includes the 30% top-up, permanent and local collections, plus surplus food provisions from January 2014 to July 2015. Details at www.tesco.com/foodcollection
About The Trussell Trust:
· Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy or bereavement to welfare problems or receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Trust’s 400 strong network of foodbanks provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.
· In 2014-15 foodbanks provided emergency food to 104,084,604 people nationwide. Of those helped, almost 400,000 were children.
· Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional like CAB, housing associations and children’s centres. Over 30,000 professionals refer to foodbanks in the UK.
· Over 90% of food given out is donated by the public and over 30,000 people volunteer at Trussell Trust foodbanks across the UK.
· Trussell Trust foodbanks do much more than food, they provide a listening ear and help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis. The Trussell Trust is currently piloting having financial advisers in foodbanks, in partnership with Martin Lewis.
· The top up is redistributed by the Trussell Trust to participating foodbanks and then used by them to: develop additional beneficiary support services e.g. counselling and housing advice, provide volunteering/training opportunities, help cover running costs, set up social enterprises and purchase food.
· 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food and drink industry. We estimate 10% of this is surplus and fit for consumption, enough food for 800 million meals. We currently handle approximately 2% of the surplus food available in the UK.
· FareShare ensures that good food is put to good use rather than wasted.
· Over 1,900 charities and community projects benefit from FareShare food. These include breakfast clubs, women’s refuges and luncheon clubs for older people. These charities save on average £13,000 a year, which can be reinvested into other support services to help people back on their feet.
· 149,000 people benefit from FareShare food every week.
· In the last year, the food redistributed by FareShare contributed towards more than 15.3 million meals.
· We also provide training and education around the essential life skills of food preparation and nutrition, and as well as warehouse employability training.
For information on a food bank in Bellevue Washington see Renewal Food Bank.