Food banks across the country have received thousands of items of food to help meet the soaring levels of need they are experiencing, thanks to an emergency support scheme from Tesco.
Working in partnership with the Trussell Trust, Tesco has supported the 29 food banks across the UK most in need of food donations providing more than 730,000 meals.
Between April 2022 and March 2023, food banks across the Trussell Trust network have distributed almost three million emergency food parcels to people who cannot afford the essentials.
With food banks struggling to keep up, Tesco stepped in to ensure that they could secure the items they needed to provide support to people in their area.
While the retailer’s food donation scheme Community Food Connection runs all year round in all its UK stores this extra effort was led by Tesco Distribution Centres. These huge centres supply every single Tesco store with products for customers every day.
The food banks were able to order food directly at no cost and have that fulfilled by Tesco’s distribution network – meaning they received weekly deliveries of vital items for food parcels, ensuring they could meet the need in their local community.
Andrew Woolfenden, UK Distribution and Fulfilment Director at Tesco, said:
“When the Trussell Trust told us it had food banks struggling to meet demand we wanted to find a way we could help them quickly and easily.”
“We have a great partnership with the Trussell Trust through our stores and this was a chance for our distribution colleagues to be involved in helping communities.”
“They are brilliant at planning the logistics to make these donations easy for food banks so they could receive exactly what they needed most free of charge from Tesco.”
Emma Revie, Chief Executive at Trussell Trust, said:
“Over the last year there has been a 37% increase nationwide in the number of food parcels that our network has distributed and this is putting a significant strain on our network as they are struggling to source enough food to meet this level of need. Tesco’s generosity has been a much-needed lifeline for the food banks who benefited from this initiative. Not only have the donations ensured that there is enough stock to provide parcels to everyone who needs it, Tesco’s logistical support has given food banks a chance to catch their breaths after the toughest winter yet.”
“We are extremely grateful to Tesco for once again responding to the needs of our network and helping us to provide urgent support to people in communities across the UK, while we work towards our long-term goal of ending the need for food banks.”
The scheme runs for six months as an emergency provision for the food banks, but Community Food Connection continues in store. More than 100 million meals have been donated from Tesco stores free of charge through its Community Food Connection programme launched in 2016.
The full list of food banks supported (by region in alphabetical order):
Leicester South Foodbank East Midlands
Weston Favell Centre Foodbank East Midlands
Bedford Foodbank East of England
Lowestoft Foodbank East of England
Ealing Foodbank London
Euston Foodbank London
Greenwich Foodbank London
Hackney Foodbank London
Lambeth Partnership Foodbank London
Lewisham Foodbank London
Durham Foodbank North East
Gateshead Foodbank North East
Middlesbrough Foodbank North East
Newcastle West End Foodbank North East
Blackburn Foodbank North West
Mid Cheshire Foodbank North West
Oldham Foodbank North West
Salford Foodbank North West
South Sefton Foodbank North West
Stockport Foodbank North West
East Lothian Foodbank Scotland
Hamilton District Foodbank Scotland
Hastings Foodbank South East
Portsmouth Foodbank South East
Bournemouth Foodbank South West
Stroud District Foodbank South West
Erdington Foodbank West Midlands
Worcester Foodbank West Midlands
Sheffield S6 Foodbank Yorkshire and Humber