Food charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust are appealing for volunteers to help the annual pre-Christmas Tesco food collection from November 19-21.
During the collection customers are encouraged to donate long-life food to help food banks and community groups support people this Christmas. Tesco will top-up customer donations by 20 per cent, in cash.
Last year, three million meals were collected and, since its launch in 2012, more than 76 million meals have been donated to FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
The volunteers are needed to encourage shoppers to leave their donations in the collection point at the front of stores, with shoppers more likely to donate if volunteers are present.
Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network are expecting to give out six emergency food parcels every minute this winter.
Ruth Koch, south London representative at the Trussell Trust, said: “A crisis can often bring out the best in people, and we have been overwhelmed by the support the UK has shown towards food banks in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
“As we look to the one of the busiest times of the year for food banks in our network, we would be so grateful if people can share shopping lists of their local food bank’s most-needed items on their social media to encourage friends and family to donate.
“Together we can make a difference and ensure that food banks are able to help people in crisis this winter.”
Meanwhile FareShare has tripled the amount of food it has been providing since the start of the pandemic and will be supplying food to 11,000 front-line charities and community groups supporting people this winter.
Rachel Ledwith, London development manager at Fareshare, said: “We know that many people have already fallen victim to the economic impact of the pandemic and thousands more are at risk of losing their jobs and livelihoods.
“We have seen a huge increase in people turning to their local grassroots community groups for support and demand for food is more than double pre-pandemic levels.
“We would be hugely grateful to anyone who is able to volunteer this year to encourage more shoppers to donate much needed ambient food to those who need it most.”
Volunteers will need to adhere to the COVID-19 rules in place in the store and locally when they participate.
People interested in volunteering can find out more and sign up at https://fareshare.org.uk/foodcollection