WITH the need for food banks soaring as people struggle to cope with the rising cost of living, Salisbury Foodbank – part of the Trussell Trust network of food banks – is urging shoppers to donate to this year’s Tesco Winter Food Collection.
From Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 December, customers at Tesco Extra Salisbury, Tesco Amesbury, Tesco Tidworth and Tesco Salisbury Castle Street will be encouraged to pick up an extra item or two as part of their weekly shop to drop in to the special donation trollies on the way out of store.
The need for donations is greater than ever with food banks in the Trussell Trust network preparing for the busiest winter yet as they expect to provide more than 700,000 emergency food parcels to people facing hardship between December and February.
The collection in aid of Salisbury Foodbank is one of more than 800 Tesco Winter Collections taking place in stores nationwide as part of the supermarket chain’s ongoing support for the Trussell Trust.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tesco’s partnership with the charity, which has led to millions of donations, increased public awareness and stronger community relationships over the last decade. As well as organising the events, Tesco will also make a generous financial donation of 20% of the value of the items donated by the public. These vital funds will allow Salisbury Foodbank to purchase additional stock and help with the provision of practical support for people accessing the food bank.
Volunteers will be in store during the collection and will help to direct customers towards essential items that Salisbury Foodbank need most, such as tinned ham, stuffing, packs of instant mash and long-life fruit juice
Maria Stevenson, manager of Salisbury Foodbank, is urging local people in the Salisbury and south Wiltshire area to think about the food bank while they do their shop and give what they can, as every donation makes a difference.
She said: “We know that the cost of living crisis has put increased pressure on people living in Salisbury and south Wiltshire and we’re seeing more people than ever before being forced to use our food bank. We always see a rise in need during the winter months and we expect that this year will be no different, therefore the donations we receive through the Tesco Collection will be critical in helping us continue to provide emergency food parcels to everyone who is facing hunger.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Tesco customers in south Wiltshire, especially at a time when everyone is feeling the squeeze. The donations you make will be vital in helping us support people in our local community this winter.”
Salisbury Foodbank is part of a network of more than 1,300 food bank centres that are supported by the Trussell Trust.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “The cost of living is driving a tsunami of need to food banks, including from people who are working, as people struggle to afford the essentials that they need to get by. Too many people are being left with no option but to use a food bank and this is reflected by the sharp increase in the number of parcels food banks in the network are distributing.
“Between April and September this year, 320,000 people were forced to use a food bank for the first time and, as winter sets in, even more people will be pushed deeper into poverty. This increase in need means that the Tesco Winter Collection will be more important than ever as food banks work tirelessly to help everyone who needs their support.
“We are working to bring about the long-term change that is needed to ensure that everyone has enough money to survive. While we do this, Tesco customers across the UK are helping to keep food banks going this winter.”
The Tesco food collection is the biggest food drive in the UK and will take place in every Tesco store in the UK.