Leeds-based supermarket Asda held an extra special celebration to thank volunteers at two local charities which provide food for people in need across Yorkshire as they faced the busiest period of the year.
The two Leeds charities, which are part of Asda’s Fight Hunger, Create Change partnership, provided more than 400,000 meals to vulnerable people across the region over the festive period as demand for emergency food parcels almost doubled.
Asda brought Christmas to volunteers at FareShare Yorkshire and Leeds South & East Food Bank to thank them for their hard work all year round, as well as getting involved in helping pack and deliver the parcels.
“We feel a responsibility to all the communities we operate in, but this is especially true in our home city of Leeds," Stephi Brett-Lee, Asda’s Senior Director for Community, said. "The funding from our Fight Hunger Create Change partnership helps to build the infrastructure for people to be able to access good-quality food and services across the UK, but without volunteers we would not be able to reach the most vulnerable in our communities and for that we must say a huge thank you, at Christmas and all year round.”
The celebration was held at the FareShare Yorkshire warehouse in Beeston, which was opened last year following funding from Asda’s Fight Hunger Create Change partnership, an innovative and transformational programme between Asda, FareShare and the Trussell Trust that aims to create long-term positive change to poverty across the UK.
“We’re pleased to see volunteers’ hard work at this busy time recognised by Asda - and look forward to our work together in the coming year, bringing us closer to a future where no one needs help of a food bank.” Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said.
Representatives from Asda and the two charities came to show their gratitude to volunteers whose unsung work helps provide millions of meals each year for the most vulnerable people in and around Leeds.
Asda provided a Christmas lunch for the volunteers, while colleagues from its Leeds head office came to lend a helping hand in distributing food to charities across Yorkshire.
“Each year the equivalent of 4 million Christmas dinners goes to waste – yet at the same time over 8 million people are struggling to afford to eat," Gareth Batty, Chief Executive of FareShare Yorkshire, said.
As part of Fight Hunger, Create Change, Asda is donating over £20 million to the two charities to improve their infrastructure so that more food can be distributed, as well as funding additional services that help the charities tackle the root causes of poverty.