Back at the start of April, as the full effects of the pandemic were unfolding across the UK, more and more people were needing support from food banks.
In the previous two weeks, there had already been a 81% surge in need for emergency food parcels compared to March 2019 – and as April wore on, this increased need for help would continue, with double the number of families needing help compared to the same month in 2019.
We were working closely with food banks to ensure people who couldn’t afford essentials were able to get an emergency parcel – but food banks could only continue to provide that vital lifeline if there was enough food for parcels.
It made such a difference that at the start of April Tesco pledged to support food banks in our network, independent food banks and food redistribution charity FareShare, with £15 million worth of food to ensure support could be there for people. The £500,000 of funding and support with Bags for Life also came at exactly the right time to help us support food banks during this challenging time.
During the past 12 weeks, these donations have been critical for food banks across the country, ensuring emergency support was there for anyone unable to afford food.
Huge thanks to @Tesco, @BritishGas , @FareShareUK and all the individual donations today that enabled us to feed 75 local families this afternoon. #foodbanks #trusselltrust #charitytuesday pic.twitter.com/5naAOPVLLH
— Smethwick Foodbank (@SmethwickFoodba) May 12, 2020
A very generous donation from @Tesco yesterday to support us through the coming weeks. Massive thank you to the @BritishGas engineers for delivering it too, amazing🙌 This food will really help us with the increase in demand we’re seeing. @TrussellTrust pic.twitter.com/wufg8IWj2h
— Cardiff Foodbank (@CardiffFoodbank) April 17, 2020
This is what 2 @Tesco @TrussellTrust donations, delivered by @BritishGas engineers, looks like 👀 What a lot of food! GREAT items we need (and some we just like!), ready to go out to people in need today 📦🚗 pic.twitter.com/jmevYWOTMZ
— Norwich Foodbank (@norwichfoodbank) May 15, 2020
Tesco’s support made all the difference during the crisis – as Jon from Brixton Foodbank explains:
Supporting our communities has never been more vital, that’s why we’re proud to work with @TrussellTrust and its network of food banks. Watch to hear how @foodbankNorwood is continuing to support those in need during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/xqK3vat4b3
— Tesco News (@tesconews) June 25, 2020
We don’t think this support should have been needed. Everyone should be able to afford their own food and we’re stepping up our work to end the need for food banks.
But while we do that longer-term work, we need to make sure help is available for people in crisis right now.
We are so grateful for Tesco’s support during the past 12 weeks – it was absolutely critical to making sure food banks were able to be there for people as the impact of Covid-19 first unfolded.