Tesco gives £15 million support to Sussex food banks during coronavirus crisis

Food banks, charities and community groups across Sussex are being helped to support local people with emergency food amid the Covid-19 crisis thanks to £15m of donations from Tesco.

Tesco is donating the additional food to support its partner charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare to respond to the extra demands to provide emergency food supplies caused by the pandemic.

Already 122 trucks full of Tesco food donations have been delivered to the two charities, with 61 tonnes of food being delivered to the FareShare regional centre in Sussex to support 122 charities with 145,241 meals-worth of food, and enough long-life food to provide almost 1,000 meals for people in crisis being supplied to local Trussell Trust food banks each week.

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The extra deliveries are on top of the £3million surplus food that Tesco already distributes to some 7,000 charities and community groups across the UK each month due to its ongoing partnership with FareShare.

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Pam Mitchell, Transition Manager for FareShare in Sussex, said the additional donations from Tesco were making a huge difference to charities and community groups which receive supplies from them.

Pam said: “We are immensely thankful to Tesco for their continued support during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the frontline charities we work with continue to provide essential support within their communities, and the additional donations from Tesco will help us to keep up a steady supply of food to them during this difficult time.”

Sophie Greaves, the Trussell Trust’s area manager for the South East, said the donations were helping to support people unable to afford their own food:

“We’re incredibly grateful for Tesco’s continued support throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Food banks in our network across Sussex have gone above and beyond to ensure they’re able to continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food. These additional food donations from Tesco have helped to ensure people in financial crisis in Sussex are able to access the emergency food and support they need during these challenging times” The £15m of additional food donated by Tesco is part of a £30m package of support from the supermarket to aid charities and voluntary groups in their response to the crisis, with £52m being provided by the supermarket to support food charities in their work this year.

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“In every part of the UK there are charities and community groups doing amazing work to feed people during the pandemic, and we are glad that we have been able to support them in helping so many vulnerable people,” said Tesco’s Head of Community, Claire De Silva.

“At Tesco we regularly donate surplus to charities and community groups through our Community Food Connection scheme, and we have permanent collection points in more than 500 stores for the Trussell Trust’s food banks and FareShare. But the Covid-19 outbreak has placed incredible demands on communities in every part of the UK and that’s why we felt the need to provide even more practical help by sending £15m of food from our depots to help local charities and food banks across the country.”

Tesco’s £30m package of support for charities during the Covid-19 pandemic also includes a £1m cash donation to the Trussell Trust and FareShare to support their running costs, a £2m donation to the British Red Cross and a £2m pot from its Bags of Help community donation scheme to support local charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people with £500 grants.