Volunteers needed to help feed vulnerable people this Christmas

Posted On 16 Nov 2019 at 2:46 pm

FareShare Sussex urgently needs volunteers to help collect food in the coming week.

Picture by Emma Croman

It said that help was needed with its Tesco Food Collection from Thursday 21 November to Saturday 23 November.

FareShare delivers surplus food to 122 frontline charities in Brighton and Hove and the wider Sussex area.

Volunteers are wanted to encourage Tesco shoppers to donate store cupboard essentials, such as pasta, tinned food, tea and coffee.

The food will be redistributed to charities such as domestic violence refuges, lunch clubs for older people, breakfast clubs and homeless hostels.

The Tesco Food Collection is Britain’s biggest food drive – and last year the public donated enough food to provide 3.5 million meals to vulnerable people across the country.

Customers doing their regular food shop at Tesco will be asked to buy an extra item to donate to FareShare. Tesco also tops up customer donations by 20 per cent.

Farihah Choudhury, a volunteer at the last Tesco Food Collection, said: “I loved volunteering last year. It was great to speak with shoppers donating food and the kindness I saw was wonderful.

“I believe everyone should have access to good healthy food and I’d encourage anyone who can to give some time to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.” 

Mark Richardson, fundraising and communications manager at FareShare Sussex, said: “Charities and community groups can struggle to keep up with demand during the cold winter months so donations are needed now more than ever to help vulnerable people.

“The deputy mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Alan Robins, will be paying a special visit to Tesco Portslade next Friday 22 November to encourage people to donate and tell them about the work we do across Sussex.

“Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the Tesco Food Collection each year.

“By giving up just three hours of your time, you can make a big impact in helping more people understand the importance of donating food. The donations will help to ensure more people get a hot, nutritious meal this Christmas.”

FareShare Sussex is the local branch of Britain’s largest food redistribution charity. It said that it saves over 563 tonnes of good surplus food from right across the supply chain and redistributes it to 122 charities and community groups throughout Sussex.

In 2018-19 Fareshare Sussex provided enough food for more than 1.3 million meals – worth more than £960,000 to the charity sector in savings. And some 500 food companies donated.

The food redistributed by FareShare can’t be sold in shops because of packaging errors, a short shelf life or overproduction.

But it’s the same as the food that people eat at home and it’s distributed through a network of 11,000 frontline organisations, including homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, domestic violence refuges, older people’s lunch clubs, food banks and hospices.

FareShare said that it provided enough food to create almost a million meals for vulnerable people every week and saved more than 74,000 tonnes of carbon last year.

Anyone with three hours to spare is asked to volunteer at any Tesco across Brighton and Hove to encourage people to donate food this Christmas so that as many people as possible in the area can have a warm home-cooked meal over the festive period.

To volunteer or find out more, click here to sign up.

Roz Scott is a freelance journalist and copywriter working in Sussex. You can read more of her articles at: www.rozscott.com

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