Derry Tesco shoppers urged to help as food banks face 'tsunami'

Generous shoppers in Derry are being asked to donate to the ‘biggest food drive’ this weekend as charities warn of increasing need for food.

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Sandra Duffy popped into Quayside Shopping to launch the Tesco Food Drive and encourage people to donate food and scan Foyle Foodbank’s QR code. Included are Nora O’Donnell. Store Manager, Karen Mullan, Strategic Development Officer, Foyle Foodbank and Fionnuala O’Reilly, Tesco Community Champion. Picture Martin McKeown. 01.12.22
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Sandra Duffy popped into Quayside Shopping to launch the Tesco Food Drive and encourage people to donate food and scan Foyle Foodbank’s QR code. Included are Nora O’Donnell. Store Manager, Karen Mullan, Strategic Development Officer, Foyle Foodbank and Fionnuala O’Reilly, Tesco Community Champion. Picture Martin McKeown. 01.12.22

The 10th annual Tesco Food Collection, which takes place in both Derry Tesco stores this weekend, comes as charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare expect to provide food to 1.2million people in the UK this winter.

During the collection, shoppers are being encouraged to donate long-life food items at their local Tesco store. The donations will support food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network such as Foyle Foodbank in Derry to provide emergency parcels to people in crisis and help FareShare supplement fresh food donations to thousands of frontline charities.

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The items most needed by local foodbanks and charities will be highlighted in store, and shoppers at large stores will also be able to pick up pre-filled donation bags containing items that food banks and local charities have chosen.

The big food drive is taking place this weekend.

During the collection Tesco customers can also round up their bill at the till to make a small donation to the charities or donate Clubcard vouchers online, with Tesco matching their value.

“Our customers have been incredibly generous during our decade-long partnership with the charities and have helped to donate more than 100 million meals worth of food to date,” said Tesco CEO Ken Murphy.

“This is going to be a difficult winter for food banks and charities and every can, packet or jar our customers donate to this weekend’s Tesco Food Collection will make a difference. We will top up all those donations with 20% in cash to support the charities.”

Meabh Austin, Development Manager at FareShare Northern Ireland, said: “Ten years on, the Tesco Food Collection has never been more important. The ongoing cost of living crisis has forced millions of people into food insecurity.

“This event is crucial in helping to collect long-life food and we are immensely grateful to Tesco for their continued support which will help us to continue getting food where it is most needed. If you’re able to donate just one item at your local store, you’ll be helping to provide a meal for someone facing economic hardship this winter.”

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust said: “Now, at a time when food banks in Derry are facing a tsunami of need created by the soaring cost of living, the support of Tesco and their customers is appreciated now more than ever before. We encourage anyone who is in a position to make a donation to visit a Tesco store across Northern Ireland and take part in the Winter Collection, you’ll be helping keep food banks open this winter.”

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“Tesco and its customers are the biggest single source of food donations for the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks but our partnership has also offered far more than just food.”

The most-needed items on the shopping list for this December’s Tesco Food Collection are: UHT milk; Tinned Meat/Fish; Sponge/Rice Puddings; Tea/Coffee; Long-Life Juice; Cooking sauces; Peanut butter & preserves; Tinned vegetables & pulses and Rice, pasta & noodles.