Almost one in ten people in the South West have skipped meals, gone without food to feed their family or relied on family or friends for food in the last year according to new research published this week.
The research comes as Tesco prepares to launch the biggest ever food collection appeal in the UK, with the help of food charity FareShare and Foodbanks charity the Trussell Trust.
Help Feed People In Need will take place at Tesco stores across the South West on December 1st and 2nd and will help provide much needed food for thousands of local people this Christmas.
The research found that in total, around 10 per cent of people in the South West have suffered from some form of food poverty in the last 12 months, with 5 per cent of people skipping meals and 4 per cent relying on friends or family to provide food. Significant numbers of parents had also gone without food to feed their children.
The research also found that in the last year, 20 per cent of people in the region had changed their eating habits, buying less expensive food or reducing the amount they eat.
Philip Clarke, Chief Executive of Tesco said: “Tesco feeds more families in the UK than any other supermarket, and we work hard to make sure people can eat well even if they don’t have a lot of money. This Christmas, we want to use our scale and our links with communities across the country to help tackle this growing problem.
“We recently held some local food collections and were overwhelmed by the support from our customers, who have shown incredible generosity. I hope they’ll support the biggest ever food collection in the UK and help us to feed hundreds of thousands of people in need.
“In the Bristol Region, there have been record numbers turn to the four local Bristol foodbanks in the last six months. They have already fed 2288 local people in the last six months. The Bristol foodbanks are all delighted to be part of Tesco’s ‘Help Feed People in Need’ appeal as they’re anticipating more people will need emergency food this winter than ever before. Please pop in to your local Tesco store to help stop people going hungry in Bristol this Christmas.”
Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of Trussell Trust said: “Across the UK Trussell Trust foodbanks are seeing thousands more people in crisis turn to us for help. Every day we meet parents who are skipping meals to feed their children, or people who are forced to choose between eating and heating. This winter is looking particularly bleak as food and energy prices rise whilst incomes remain static. We are delighted that Tesco is working with The Trussell Trust’s network of over 280 UK foodbanks and FareShare to help stop people going hungry this Christmas. We’d like to encourage everyone to give a can or two to help make this Christmas a happier one for people in crisis. Thank you.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said: “We are so pleased to be working with Tesco and the Trussell Trust on this campaign. Year-round, FareShare redistributes food to over 700 local grassroot projects in the UK who work tirelessly to provide food and other support to some of the poorest people in our society. In the past year, we provided food for 8.6 million meals and helped feed 36,500 people a day. With the help of Tesco customers, we can provide even more food to people who need it, at a time of real, increasing need. Thank you!”
Details about the collection
Thousands of Tesco staff members, together with FareShare and Trussell Trust volunteers and Tesco Retired Staff Association members will be on hand to help customers who will be given special shopping lists to encourage them to buy everyday food items like cereals, rice, instant coffee, tinned food and sauces. Collections will take place between 9am – 6pm in Tesco stores.
Tesco will be topping up total donations by 30 per cent and will also be providing funding to both organisations to help them build on the vital work they do helping people in communities across the country.
As part of Tesco’s commitment to helping families and individuals in need, the retailer plans to run further food collections in partnership with FareShare and Trussell Trust in the coming months to help provide people with food.