Generous Dorset customers donated thousands of meals to the Tesco Winter Food Collection, providing much-needed support for FareShare and the Trussell Trust.

In Dorset, the collection saw customers donate 15,744 meals to make a difference in their community.

Donations to the Trussell Trust help food banks provide emergency food parcels to people who cannot afford the essentials, while donations to FareShare support thousands of frontline local charities.

This year will see both charities face their busiest winter yet as more people turn to them for support. The Trussell Trust is expecting to distribute one food parcel every eight seconds over the next three months, and the charity has reported that 320,000 people needed to access a food bank for the first time between April and September—the most ever for this period.

Meanwhile, FareShare has over 1,500 frontline charities on its waiting list seeking food to help them provide meals for people facing hunger this winter.

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said, “The generosity of our customers is truly amazing. At a time when people are facing financial strain, they still went out of their way to support our charity partners.

“From a single carton of long-life milk to a whole trolley of items, every customer who donated helped us to make this one of the most successful Winter Food Collections ever.”

In addition to the donations of food, the pre-Christmas Winter Food Collection saw Dorset customers help towards donating more than £300,000 to the charities by rounding up their bills at the till and donating through a link from Tesco’s online grocery website.

Tesco also provides its unsold food to FareShare and together, Tesco and its customers have given the equivalent of more than 39 million meals to both charities in the past year.

George Wright, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “With so many people struggling to afford basic essentials this winter, it’s really uplifting to see that Tesco customers have donated so much food to help people facing hunger in the community.  Not only did they donate food, but many of them also donated their time by volunteering in stores to help us collect much needed items this year too.

“We are immensely grateful to Tesco and its customers for the invaluable support we have received over the last 11 years and for donating more than any other food partner in our history. Thank you to everyone who donated food, money, or time this year; your generosity will ensure we can continue getting vital food to the people that need it most this Christmas.”

Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust, added: “People’s generosity never fails to amaze me, and it is wonderful to see that once again communities and Tesco stores across the UK have come together to support their local food banks and ensure that they can be there for everyone who needs them this winter.

“Everyone should have enough money to afford the essentials, and when food banks in our network are expecting to provide a food parcel every eight seconds between December and February, it’s clear that something is wrong. That is why we continue our long-term work to achieve a future where no one needs to access emergency food, and, while we do that, every item that is donated will make a real difference to addressing the urgent levels of need this winter.”

With both charities continuing to need support, Dorset shoppers can continue to donate food at permanent collection points at every Tesco store in the UK or make a donation after their online shop. They can also donate until February 2024.

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