Two leading charities are appealing to people in Hucknall to volunteer their help for the biggest food collection in the UK for those in need this Christmas.
The Tesco Food Collection is being backed by The Trussell Trust, which provides emergency support to tackle hunger and poverty through a network of food banks, and FareShare, which is the UK’s largest charity fighting food waste.
From Thursday, November 21 until Saturday, November 23, the two charities will be collecting food at Tesco stores across the UK, including the main one at Hucknall.
They are recruiting now for volunteers to encourage shoppers to donate, so that as much food as possible can go to families and individuals who are struggling because of poverty, illness or vulnerability.
Emma Revie, chief executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “No-one should need a food bank at any time of year. But we know that during the lead-up to Christmas, our network of food banks sees even more people needing help.
“Food banks will be doing all they can to provide vital emergency support so people don’t face hunger this Christmas.
“But to make sure there are enough donations, we need your support.
“Having your support in this year’s Tesco Food Collection will make a real difference. The more people who volunteer, the more food will be collected from generous shoppers, and the better prepared food banks will be to help local people.”
During the collections, shoppers will be encouraged to donate long-life food to help food banks and community support groups.
Tesco will top up all customer donations by 20 per cent to further help those in need.
The collection has been a huge success since it was launched in 2012, and more than 63 million meals have been donated across the country. Last year, 3.5 million meals were collected, including hundreds in the Hucknall area.
To make this year’s collection an even bigger success, volunteers are needed to hand out shopping lists to customers in the Tesco store over the three days in November, and to spread a little Christmas cheer.
This will enable shoppers to see the food items most needed by food banks and community groups in their area, and to give an idea of how their donations can help.
Among the many volunteers who offered their services to the Tesco Food Collection last year was Farihah Choudhury. She said: “I loved volunteering. It was great to speak with shoppers donating their food. The kindness I saw was wonderful and gave me a lot of hope.
“I believe everyone should have access to good, healthy food, and I would encourage anyone who can to give some time to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.”
Those interested in following in Farihah’s footsteps can find out more and sign up for volunteering by logging on to www.fareshare/tescofoodcollection.
You can sign up as an individual or with family and friends. You will then be able to make a big difference to the 8.4 million people currently living in food poverty in the UK.
The Trussell Trust runs a network of more than 1,200 food banks across the UK, but campaigns hard for change, saying the food banks should not be needed.
FareShare is the country’s largest food redistribution charity, taking food that can’t be sold in shops and giving it out to those in need via 21 regional centres and 11,000 frontline orgsnaisations.