Food bank collection gets off to flying start

Matt Wilkinson, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, store manager Scott Moonan and Nigel Prior
Matt Wilkinson, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, store manager Scott Moonan and Nigel Prior

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HUNDREDS of generous shoppers helped collect 61 crates of supplies for food banks to help people in need.

The event was held at Tesco in Quay Street, Fareham on Friday and saw the launch of the supermarket’s twice-yearly Neighbourhood Food Collection.

With Fareham 1st Scout Troop there to help, people poured in to donate spare food.

Karri Pratt, community champion for the Fareham branch, said that the event saw food worth about £850 donated.

Mrs Pratt said: ‘It was absolutely fantastic.’

Each year Tesco runs the collection to boost stock for food bank charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare.

Once the food is collected, it is redistributed to the two charities and community groups across the south.

Tesco stores have 500 permanent collection points that also supplement the six-monthly events across the country.

Suella Fernandes, the Conservative MP for Fareham, stopped by to see the collection in progress and to show her support.

She said: ‘I was more than pleased to pay a visit to the collection as food banks provide a vital and wonderful service.

‘In many cases they provide invaluable support to many people.’

Tory work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith caused controversy 18 months ago when he refused to meet representatives of the Trussell Trust, accusing them of ‘scaremongering’ and making politically-motivated criticisms of government policy.

The Trussell Trust provides families with three days worth of emergency food while FareShare helps provide meals for smaller organisations across the country such as breakfast clubs, luncheon clubs and women’s refuges.

The trust handed out more than a million parcels in the last financial year, up from just under 130,000 in 2012/3.

Around 150,000 people benefit from FareShare every single week.

Tesco adds 30 per cent to the overall donations from the campaign and it is predicted that the campaign will see 25m meals donated in Hampshire alone.

For more go to foodcollection.tesco.com