Salford’s Tesco Extra food collection point. Credit: Charlie Gregory.
Salford Foodbank has appealed for donations as part of Tesco’s annual food collection initiative.
The nationwide scheme, which sees volunteers provide lists of potential food items for shoppers to donate, will run from Thursday November 29 to Saturday December 1.
Shoppers can purchase as many items as they wish, with the collected food donated to charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust – the latter supporting Salford Foodbank.
Pendleton Way’s Tesco Extra and Tesco Express on Trafford Road are two of several supermarkets participating in the collection across Salford, as shown in the map below:
Tesco and the partnering charities previously mentioned, aim to support the 8.4 million people living in food poverty in the United Kingdom, ahead of the Christmas period.
Now in its 11th year, the initiative includes more than 2,600 Tesco stores nationally, and the retailer has pledged to top up the value of all donated food by 20%.
Mark Whittington, Salford Foodbank manager, said: “It (the scheme) is really important, especially at Christmas as it’s a busy period for us in terms of the amount of people needing our help.
“I just hope people get involved. If you’re at any of the Tesco stores, then please take a shopping list and consider buying an item or two.
“Inevitably, from week to week, month to month, there’s certain items that we’re low on, but we know that over this weekend, a lot of stock levels will rise thanks to locals’ generosity.”
More than 3.3 million meals were donated last year thanks to the kindness of Tesco customers, but the need for food support is higher than ever before.
Recent studies reveal that the number of referrals to foodbanks across the nation is increasing each year, with December typically proving to be a troublesome month for those in need.
“Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy but we’re seeing the festive period becoming increasingly stressful for more & more people” New stats show Dec 2017 was busiest month for #foodbanks last year, & this Dec we’re likely to see even more referrals > https://t.co/BT7yaOGBYC pic.twitter.com/d1ThiyLAKB
— The Trussell Trust (@TrussellTrust) November 27, 2018
Mr Whittington said however: “At the start of December, which is when these events always are, a great amount of food is donated.
“It’s a really good initiative and will enable us to help everyone that comes to the food bank.
“We’ve found that the public are really generous and it really helps us with stock levels, not just up to Christmas but beyond that as well.”
“I just hope people get involved. If you’re at any of the Tesco stores, then please take a shopping list and consider buying an item or two.”
Salford Foodbank also has permanent collection points in supermarkets across the Greater Manchester region.
“Providing emergency food parcels for local individuals and families has a massive impact. It can really help people that are in a time of crisis.
“Many of them are ashamed, embarrassed and never thought they’d have to come to a foodbank.
“We’re fortunate to have provisions to give them, and not only a standard food parcel but additional Christmas items such as chocolates, mince pies, Christmas puddings and so on.
“To give somebody additional treats above and beyond the standard food parcel is great and we’re really pleased we’re able to do that as a result of the general public’s generosity.”
If you would like to hear Mark Whittington’s comments about the impact of the initiative, you can listen below: