I remember briefly seeing the #everycanhelps campaign last year and feeling that I really wanted to get involved. I was too late though, it was the last day of the extended collection days.
Well, guess what? I decided to go bargain hunting at Tesco yesterday evening; I haven’t done this in months. Evening bargain hunting are very tricky for me though; you see, I feed Precious Sparkle to sleep. My recent attempt was cancelled by a longer than expected feeding to sleep session. However, I was determined to go yesterday though I ended up leaving home too late.
Nevermind, I got more than I bargained for and I’m so delighted. I saw the setting up of the Tesco Neighbourhood Food Collection! This is their 6th one since November 2012/ they now do it twice a year, in the Summer and Winter.
The collection helps Trussel foodbanks with the 3 days of “nutritionally-balanced” emergency food supplies they give to those in danger of going hungry. Those who benefit from this are referred to the foodbanks by people like social workers, doctors, citizen advice bureau advisers, Red Cross personnel etc.
The collection also helps Fareshare to distribute “cupboard essentials” to a range of local organisations like homeless day centres and school lunch clubs. This is in addition to their redistribution of surplus and mostly fresh food from the Food Industry.
To ensure Tesco doesn’t profit from this scheme, they top up what is donated by 30%, pay for all the promotion materials, and give hours of staff time to the collecting, sorting, and delivery of donations. Tesco’s food collection site has a breaskdown of how the 30% is calculated.
The Neighbourhood Food Collection scheme and Tesco surplus food donations have provided 21.5 million meals for those in need since November 2012.
There are very obvious food collection points at the front of Tesco stores nationwide, and many are manned by volunteers.
- Tesco Express stores started their collection on June 22 and will end it on 4 July
- Larger Tesco stores are collecting from today, Thursday 2 July to Saturday 4 July
- Over 500 Tesco stores have permanent collection points for year round donations
Anyone can get involved; donating either online or / and in store. Each of the two charities in the scheme have a list of what they collect, and I believe each store collects for one of them. The food collection shopping list for each store are available from their collection point.
At my local Tesco, I observed Red Cross volunteers talking to customers and giving out the shopping list to those who wanted it. I am very thankful to Claire, one of the volunteers, who agreed to do an interview with me on the spot.
So basically, you buy any of the items on the shopping list as part of your Tesco shop, and donate it / them at the collection point on your way out of the store. No donation is too small.
You can also volunteer at food collection points through the local foodbank within the scheme.
There are a range of reasons why you might choose to support this scheme; chief of this for me is to help those in need.
Did you know that 13 million people in the UK live in relative poverty and 5.8 million of these are living in extreme poverty? This scheme helps to alleviate the suffering of some of these people.
Can you help to reduce poverty in the UK? Will you help to reduce poverty in the UK? The Tesco Neighbourhood Food Collection scheme with The Trussell Trust and FareShare is very simple, and practical way to help.
Do you participate in the Tesco Neighbourhood Food Collection?
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