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Generous Tesco shoppers have been thanked after donating more than 1.5million meals-worth of food to help charities feed people during Christmas and the winter months. 

During the twice-yearly Tesco Food Collection, which ran in all Tesco stores in the UK from November 18th to 20th customers were asked to donate long-life food to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust.  

Stores across the UK reported that customers had given the highest volume of food donations to support local charities since the start of the pandemic, providing 1.57m meals during the campaign. The donations will help foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network provide emergency parcels and to help FareShare supply thousands of frontline charities. Tesco has once again topped up all customer donations with a 20% cash donation to the two charities, to support them in their work feeding people in communities across the UK. 

 Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said shoppers’ donations would make a huge difference to the frontline charities they supplied. 

“The Food Collection is so important to FareShare because donations of long-life items mean we are able to complement the fresh food that we receive year round from Tesco with staples like rice, tinned vegetables and tea and coffee,” he said. 

“Thank you to every single Tesco customer who donated to the food collection this year – your generous donations will help us to continue supporting local charities and community groups that are helping to feed people in need this winter.”  

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said the donations would help provide food to people facing impossible decisions this Christmas.  

?“Throughout 2021, communities across the UK have stepped in to provide vital support to people at food banks, left without enough money for the essentials,” she said. “This emergency lifeline is only possible due to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers during the Tesco Food Collection.  

?“Right now, people near you are making impossible decisions between staying warm or buying food as food banks in our network face providing 7,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis every day this month. It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for the essentials, but we continue to be truly humbled by how much people are willing to give and so we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks.” 

Kat Kempen from Redcar, North Yorkshire, was forced to use a food bank several years ago following a relationship breakdown and personal challenges which left her struggling to feed her family. Thankfully, Redcar Foodbank provided her with emergency food and support and she now works at a?community cafe where she helps other local people in crisis, including people supported by the food bank.  

Kat, who is a regular volunteer at the Tesco Food Collection and appeared on the materials to promote this year’s collection said:

“I’m so grateful to Tesco customers who have generously donated to the food collection this winter. However big or small, your donation will make a huge difference to someone who is having a tough time this winter. I know all too well what a difference these donations can make to people’s lives, especially at this time of year.” 

Claire de Silva, Head of Community at Tesco thanked all those who took part:

“At this time more than ever, we are hugely grateful for the support of all our customers who have donated and our volunteers in store for making this the biggest collection of long-life food in our stores since the start of the pandemic. We know will make a really significant difference to local people this winter.”

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