The retailer’s ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ initiative returns today for two weeks, with Sainsbury’s matching customer donations penny for penny up to the value of £4 million.

As UK destitution rates rise in the UK, Sainsbury’s is bringing back its ‘Help Brighten A Million Christmases’ initiative, with every single donation being matched by the supermarket penny for penny up to the value of £4 million. With the aim of raising a total of over £8million, the campaign builds on Sainsbury’s year-round work with its charitable partners to provide vital support to those who need it most in the run up to the festive season.

The initiative invites customers to donate food, money and Nectar points in store and online in a bid to help make Christmas a special time for everyone. Together with the help of Sainsbury’s customers, ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ could help to feed up to 32 million* people this Christmas, with all proceeds raised going to charity partners – including hundreds of community groups and charities, Comic Relief and FareShare.

From 14 – 24 December, Sainsbury’s will work closely with its networks to ensure the funds raised reach its local partners in time to help to feed its communities for Christmas.

Alongside the £8 million target, Sainsbury’s has also committed a further £1 million to support local charities and good causes. Whilst most of the money raised will help feed the nation, some of this additional funding will be going towards a number of charity partners supporting families who are financially struggling to purchase Christmas presents for their children too.

With the UK seeing an explosion in demand for charity food parcels, there has never been a more important time to support the most vulnerable members of society. The number of meals FareShare provides each week has doubled from 1 million in December 2019, to 2 million now. Just £1 donated could provide the equivalent of four hot meals for an elderly person facing isolation this Christmas – eight meals once matched by Sainsbury’s. A £2 donation could provide two families of four with a festive meal to enjoy on 25 December – four families once matched.

‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ will run from 1 – 14 December 2020. Customers can choose to donate physical products at donation points in over 1200 Sainsbury’s stores across the UK, or donate money at checkout points, via SmartShop or when shopping online.

Customers can also choose to donate their Nectar points to Comic Relief online via the Nectar app or website. Every 500 points earned equates to £2.50, so just 2,000 points will raise £10.

Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “This year has presented unexpected challenges for many of our colleagues and customers and we are committed to doing everything we can to help feed the nation and make sure that no family goes hungry over the festive season. We are proud to work with our food donation partners all year round to provide vital support to the communities we serve, but they need our help now more than ever.

“We invite our customers and colleagues to give what they can and we will match all donations, doubling the value of every customer contribution. We are donating £5 million to support thousands of good causes, providing millions of meals as we aim to brighten a million Christmases.”

Graeme Robbie, FareShare Manager, Community Food Initiatives North East, said: “This commitment from Sainsbury’s to support local charities and their communities comes as such good news in the run up to Christmas. Knowing that this additional support is on its way really will brighten up Christmases and will help charities and community groups to plan their support in advance.”

Help Brighten a Million Christmases is just one of the ways Sainsbury’s supports local communities. The retailer has partnered with FareShare since it cofounded the organisation in 1994 and in that time, has helped provide over 12 million meals.

*Figures provided by FareShare

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