Tesco customers donate millions of meals to help feed people in need this Christmas

“Help Feed People In Need”, the biggest food collection appeal ever held in the UK has collected an incredible 1,000 tonnes of food, the equivalent of more than two million meals, from generous Tesco customers the retailer announced today.

“Help Feed People In Need”, the biggest food collection appeal ever held in the UK has collected an incredible 1,000 tonnes of food, the equivalent of more than two million meals, from generous Tesco customers the retailer announced today.

The appeal, which took place over the weekend of 1 and 2 December, saw Tesco join forces with Foodbanks charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare to collect food items for those in need this Christmas.

The collection took place after new research showed around one in ten people in the UK has had to skip a meal, rely on family or friends for food or go without food in order to feed their family in the last 12 months.

Tesco, which has topped up donations by 30 per cent, confirmed the most popular items donated by customers were cans of soup and tinned tomatoes while customers got into the festive spirit by donating thousands of packs of mince pies and Christmas puddings.

Rebecca Shelley, Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of our customers throughout this appeal and to collect more than two million meals for people in need this Christmas is a huge achievement.

“This is just the first step in what we hope will be a long and successful partnership with the Trussell Trust and FareShare who have put in an incredible amount of effort to make this appeal a success.

“I’d also like to thank all of our colleagues who showed fantastic team spirit and energy to make sure food was collected and distributed to those in need.”

Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of the Trussell Trust said: “As cold weather sets in and energy bills start to bite, more people are turning to foodbanks because they cannot afford both food and heating. Thanks to incredible public generosity at Tesco stores last weekend, foodbanks will be able to provide emergency food and festive treats to more families who are struggling to afford food this Christmas. At a time when budgets are stretched more than ever, it's heart-warming to see so many communities working together to stop people going hungry. We're truly staggered by the public response - it will transform Christmas for many. Thank you.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said: “The response to this campaign has been incredible. Thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers, we’ll be able to combine the donated tinned soup, rice and pasta with the fresh produce we receive daily from the food industry to deliver even more to the hundreds of charities we support. This is a great boost to our work and will help us continue to feed 36,500 vulnerable people each day. Thank you.”

Details of the Appeal

The Help Feed People In Need appeal took place in nearly 900 Tesco stores across the country with more than two million meals being donated to people in need this Christmas.

The most popular items donated by customers were cans of soup and tinned tomatoes.

The Allerton Road Tesco Extra in Liverpool collected a fantastic 15,000 thousand meals over the course of the weekend, making the customers of the Liverpool store the most generous in the UK.

The Bridgend Extra and Pontypridd Superstore topped the charts in Wales, with both collecting nearly 9,000 meals for people in need.

In Scotland, the Wishaw Belhaven Extra collected more than 11,000 meals while customers at the Port Glasgow Extra donated 10,000 meals.

While customers at the Newtownbreda Extra in County Antrim collected more than 6,500 meals form generous customers to make it the top store in Northern Ireland.

Thousands of Tesco colleagues and members of the Tesco Retired Staff Association joined forces with volunteers from the Trussell Trust and FareShare to collect donated food.

Tesco has topped up donations by 30% and will be providing extra funding to the two charities to help them carry out more good work in communities across the UK.

Tesco colleagues have also been helping to transport food donations to FareShare depots and foodbanks with the use of the retailer’s extensive distribution network.


For media enquiries on the Help Feed People In Need Appeal please contact Matt Francis in the Tesco press office on 01992 644 645 or via email: matt.p.francis@uk.tesco.com

Images of the appeal available on request.

For media enquiries on the Trussell Trust and information on case studies, please contact Molly Hodson in the Trussell Trust press office on 01722 580 182 or 07877 889462 or via email: Molly.Hodson@trusselltrust.org

For media enquiries on FareShare and information on case studies, please contact Shakira Silvestri in the FareShare press office on 07950 787 670 or 0207 394 2460 or via email: shakira.silvestri@fareshare.org.uk


Notes to editors

All figures relating to number of meals collected include 30% top-up from Tesco.

Following consultation with FareShare and the Trussell Trust, we have calculated the size of a meal based on the widely used food portion sizes book, published by the Food Standards Agency.

Based on this calculation, a standard meal weighs 420g.

For more information, please visit the Food Standards Agency website: http://www.food.gov.uk/

About FareShare:

  • FareShare is an award-winning charity fighting hunger and food waste in the UK. It does this by rescuing good quality surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and sending it to over 700 charities and community projects across the country including hostels, day centres, women’s refuge centres and children’s breakfast clubs;
  • Last year, through its 17 depots, FareShare contributed food towards 8.6 million meals, feeding 36,500 people a day;
  • The food FareShare provides saves charities and community projects almost £8 million a year, with 81.5% redirecting that money into other support services;
  • For more information on the work FareShare carries out, visit: www.fareshare.org.uk


About the Trussell Trust:

  • The Trussell Trust’s award-winning UK foodbank network partners with churches and communities to provide three days nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people in crisis.
  • Over 90% food given out by foodbanks is donated by the public. Every foodbank recipient is referred by a frontline care professional such as a doctor, social worker or schools liaison officer.
  • Three new Trussell Trust foodbanks are launching every week. There are almost 300 Trussell Trust foodbanks launched nationwide.
  • Almost 110,000 people received emergency food from a Trussell Trust foodbank between April – September 2012, compared to 128,697 in total during 2011-12 financial year. Since the recession began numbers fed by foodbanks have risen dramatically.
  • Less than 5% of foodbank clients are homeless, many are working families struggling to make ends meet.
  • The Trussell Trust’s vision is that every town should have a foodbank, creating a nation where no-one needs to go hungry.
  • For more information on the work carried out by the Trussell Trust visit: www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects


For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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