Thanks to the generosity of its customers, UK retailer Asda reported last week that food donations have produced some 140,000 meals to the Trussell Trust since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme, which has seen donation trolleys in nearly 400 Asda stores, has helped distribute food to 244 food banks in the Trussell Trust, serving those cusomters in financial hardship.
“We have been staggered by the generosity of our wonderful customers at what is an incredibly challenging time," Asda Chief Customer Officer, Anna-Maree Shaw said."Thanks to them, a lot of families will have greater access at a time when they need it most. We will continue to do all we can to help people in need in our communities and support the vital work that both charities do.”
Combined with its 418,871 meals provided by its food donation programme – Asda's stores have been leading the charge, with supermarkets giving directly to local charities in their area.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of Asda and their customers during such challenging times," Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said: "This support for communities across the UK will allow food banks to continue providing the best possible emergency help to people unable to afford their own food. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far – we really are grateful for every donation.
Throughout the pandemic, Asda has made a £5m donation which has been split evenly between the Trussell Trust and FareShare. The money has been used to help FareShare to get vans on the road, supporting 336,000 needy families every week. The investment has also helped 230 food banks in the Trussell Trust network set up e-referral systems so people unable to afford their own food can be referred for an emergency food parcel either online or over the phone.
“Never has it been more important to get good, nutritious food to vulnerable people than right now," Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said: "We’re grateful to Asda for their funding during this critical time which is helping us access more food and safely and quickly transport it to where it’s needed most.”
Asda has also donated 452,000 carrier bags to help transport the donations made by its customers.
“We must not lose the power we have when we come together as a country to make sure proper support is there for one another," Reavie said. "It’s this community spirit, working alongside businesses like Asda, that we need to harness as we begin to rebuild a just and compassionate society that protects us all from poverty."