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There with you: Supermarket chain gives £30m to help food banks feed those in need during pandemic crisis

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 April 2020

Mauris... packing groceries for east London foodbanks at Tesco's Canary Wharf Metro branch. Picture: Tesco

Mauris... packing groceries for east London foodbanks at Tesco's Canary Wharf Metro branch. Picture: Tesco

Tesco

Staff at supermarkets across east London are packing supplies for foodbanks to help those in need get through the Coronavirus crisis.

Well stocked... Tesco supermarkets in east London getting through the Caronavirus crisis. Picture: GoogleWell stocked... Tesco supermarkets in east London getting through the Caronavirus crisis. Picture: Google

The Tesco chain has confirmed it is donating £30million over the next 12 weeks to top up its food donations programme including fresh produce for distribution to community groups and food banks.

“We want to help those locally who need it most,” Tesco Group’s chief executive Dave Lewis said.

“So we are boosting our donations programme to make sure food banks and community groups have supplies, while also giving extra resources to the British Red Cross where its most needed at this difficult time.”

East London food banks ready to receive supplies from Tesco's Canary Wharf Metro branch. Picture: TescoEast London food banks ready to receive supplies from Tesco's Canary Wharf Metro branch. Picture: Tesco

The operation is on top of the £3m in food it gives every month through its ‘community connection’ scheme from distribution centres like Bromley-by-Bow and Beckton to charities such as FareShare and the Trussell Trust which are being given £1m for their own relief operations.

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The trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said: “Everyone should be able to afford their own food. We’re helping people who can’t afford essentials to get an emergency food parcel, so we’re grateful to Tesco’s support as the pandemic develops.”

No panic... plenty of Easter bunnies in stock at this east London supermarket. Picture: GoogleNo panic... plenty of Easter bunnies in stock at this east London supermarket. Picture: Google

FareShare charity’s Lindsay Boswell said: “Many of the frontline charities we work with are providing vital support in their communities, so the combination of funding and food donations will ensure they have a consistent supply of food during this difficult time.”

Another £2m is coming from the Tesco group’s existing ‘Bags of Help’ donations to charities including women’s refuges, foodbanks, hospices, homeless charities, social isolation groups, schools, organisations for the elderly and local authorities to provide support quickly.

Each Tesco store has access to a £1m fund to support causes in their areas. A special ‘Bags of Help’ Covid-19 community fund has been set up to help groups with grants of £500.

British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: “The world is facing an unprecedented global emergency and we are extremely thankful for this donation from Tesco which will help support the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Groups that would benefit are being urged to apply online at www.tescobagsofhelp.org.uk through the Groundwork charity.


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