Tesco has donated a new £1m support package for food banks and frontline charities just hours after the Trussell Trust warned it is facing its most difficult winter ever.
The supermarket’s £1m donation will be split between the Trussell Trust and FareShare to help the charities meet the exceptional challenges they are facing as food banks struggle to cope with unprecedented demand and soaring operating costs,
The additional money comes on top of the ongoing support the supermarket has been providing to both charities for the past decade.
Tesco is the biggest supplier of food distributed by FareShare and has donated 20 million meals of surplus food to the charity in the past year. Tesco and its customers are also the biggest single source of food donations for the Trussell Trust’s food banks.
The Trussell Trust launched an emergency appeal today after seeing a 46% increase in food parcels during August and September, while food banks throughout its network have been feeling the pressure of rising bills.
At the same time, FareShare’s regional centres – which supply frontline charities and community groups across the UK with food – are dealing with the rising cost of keeping fridges and freezers running and delivery vans on the road. Some fuel bills are expected to be up to 70% higher this winter, even after government support.
Tesco UK boss, Jason Tarry said: “We work closely with both the Trussell Trust and FareShare and on a recent visit to a food bank in Lambeth, I saw first-hand the challenges of supporting more people against a background of rising costs.
“That’s why I’m proud that Tesco is one of the first to respond to the Trussell Trust’s emergency appeal with a £1m donation.
“We hope this will help both charities – and food banks across the UK – continue the vital work they do as we go into winter. We will, of course, continue our regular donations from both Tesco and our generous customers, which has seen us donate 100 million meals in the last decade.”
The Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said the charity was “extremely grateful” to Tesco for pledging help for its food banks “at the time when they need it most”.
FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell CBE added: “The vast increase in the cost of living is having a disproportionate impact on people already struggling to make ends meet. As a result, the 9,500 charities and community groups FareShare support in the UK say demand for our food is higher than ever.
“We are incredibly grateful to Tesco for their generous donation that will help us to continue providing food to the people most in need that will rely on their local charities this winter.”
The additional £1m brings Tesco’s support for charities and community projects to more than £10m this year.