Tesco provides 730,000 meals to food banks as demand soars
The supermarket has partnered with the Trussell Trust to support 29 centres in England.
Tesco has provided more than 730,000 meals to food banks across the country to help meet the soaring demand as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
The supermarket has partnered with the Trussell Trust to support 29 centres in England, including venues in London, the Midlands and North East.
The food banks will be able to order food directly at no cost and have it fulfilled by Tesco’s distribution network – meaning they receive weekly deliveries of items for food parcels.
The Trussell Trust network announced last month it had distributed almost three million emergency food parcels to people between April 2022 and March 2023.
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Emma Revie, chief executive of Trussell Trust, said: “Over the last year there has been a 37% increase nationwide in the number of food parcels that our network has distributed and this is putting a significant strain on our network as they are struggling to source enough food to meet this level of need.
“Tesco’s generosity has been a much-needed lifeline for the food banks who benefited from this initiative.”
Trussell Trust added the level of need across the network was “far outstripping the donations that we’ve been receiving”, meaning food banks were forced to purchase more food and source additional warehouse space to store it.
It added that food banks also had to extend their opening hours to accommodate employed people who need emergency support around their working patterns.
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Tesco’s emergency support scheme is being led by its distribution centres, which supply stores with products daily.
Andrew Woolfenden, UK distribution and fulfilment director at Tesco, added: “When the Trussell Trust told us it had food banks struggling to meet demand we wanted to find a way we could help them quickly and easily.
“We have a great partnership with the Trussell Trust through our stores and this was a chance for our distribution colleagues to be involved in helping communities.
“They are brilliant at planning the logistics to make these donations easy for food banks so they could receive exactly what they needed most free of charge from Tesco.”
The scheme runs for six months as an emergency provision for the food banks but Tesco’s Community Food Connection will continue to run all year round in stores.
More than 100 million meals have been donated from Tesco stores since the programme launched in 2016.