Kind-hearted customers at Tesco stores across Exeter have donated thousands of meals to people in need this Christmas.
Shoppers gave 11,171 meals for food charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust during the Tesco Food Collection, which ran in stores in Exeter from 29 November to 1 December.
Customers were asked to donate long-life items to help people in need as part of their usual shop. With this year’s UK-wide total of 3.5 million meals donated to the charities, the overall total given by shoppers since the Tesco Food Collection scheme began in 2012 is more than 52 million meals.
FareShare is the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, while The Trussell Trust runs a network of food banks.
Food donated to foodbanks in The Trussell Trust’s network is given in emergency food parcels to people referred because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.
Donations to FareShare are distributed to charities and community groups. They use it to provide meals for vulnerable groups such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.
To help the charities in their work, Tesco is once again topping up the value of the customer donations by 20 per cent, providing the two charities with funding to run the foodbanks and distribute the food to those in need.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare, thanked Exeter Tesco customers for their generosity.
He said: “The food donated at the Tesco Food Collection will make a tremendous difference to the thousands of charities and community groups that FareShare supports.
“These groups are doing amazing work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers over the festive season, we have enough long-life food to provide meals to those helping people in need across the UK.
“We’d like to thank everyone who donated, as well as all the volunteers who made the store collections such a success.”
Emma Revie, Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust, said: “Our foodbank network has spent the last month making sure that people referred to them with no money for food don’t go hungry this Christmas.
“This work has been made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers during the Food Collection. Thank you for your support – your generosity has stopped hunger this Christmas.”
Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK CEO, said: “Year upon year we are taken aback by the generosity of customers who give to the Tesco Food Collection in our stores the length and breadth of the UK.
“We know that this annual collection makes a real difference to the charities we work with, and I would like to thank everyone who has donated, volunteered or helped in store.
“For our part, we are topping up the value of all the donations by 20 per cent and I am proud that together with our customers and charity partners we are able to feed so many people in need this Christmas.”