Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Tesco shoppers managed to donate an astonishing 818,000 meals to charities through their generosity just prior to Thanksgiving, with the number eclipsing one million through December.
Through Tesco Food Collections, which ran 19-21 November, patrons were able to give gifts in store or online, either with Clubcard vouchers or cash at the supermarket's site
. Those still interested can still make donations.
“With most of the UK in lockdown holding the collection was always going to be a challenge, but once again we have been amazed by the generosity of our customers, and the fact that we have now collected more than a million meals is amazing," said Tesco’s Head of Community Claire De Silva. "We know that every single can, jar or packet donated is helping someone who needs support this winter. We are immensely proud of the vital support our customers and colleagues have been able to give to the two charities in these very challenging times”
Tesco has been working closely with two charities - FareShare and the Trussell Trust - to get meals into the hands of those who need them. The retailer has given more than £60m to them during the pandemic, including £15m of food during the initial lockdown.
“This year has been so difficult for so many people and FareShare has seen demand for our food skyrocket," said Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, which also received an additional £4m of food recently. "We continue to provide over two million meals per week to vulnerable communities across the UK, and 90% of the organisations we work with expect demand to remain the same as at peak crisis levels, or even increase through the winter. We are immensely grateful to every single person that donated food during this year’s Tesco Food Collection.”
Tesco says food banks such as Trussell Trust are providing a food delivery to someone in need every nine seconds as well as helping feed those on the frontlines during the pandemic.
“Throughout 2020, communities across the UK have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money for the basics," says Emma Revie, CEO at the Trussell Trust. "And we have been truly humbled to see how much people are willing to give to food banks in our network as they face their busiest winter ever.
"It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food but thanks to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers during the Tesco Food Collection, food banks in our network are able to continue to provide the lifeline of emergency support for local people in crisis this winter, while we work in the long term to build a hunger free future.”