As FareShare and the Trussell Trust report they expect to provide food support to more than 1.2 million people in the U.K. this winter, retailer Tesco and its charity partners have launched The Give Back Express – their first ever ‘reverse supermarket’ to help spread Christmas joy and boost donations.
Visitors are invited to buy and donate the 25 most needed items as identified by Tesco and both charities – including tinned food, tea, and toiletries – at The Give Back Express pop-up store. Customers simply pay for the products they have chosen, with the value of all purchases donated to the charities on their behalf by the supermarket. Passers-by can also scan a QR code located outside the store to make a monetary donation through their Clubcard vouchers, or online. Tesco will match the value of all goods purchased at the store.
Located on London’s Poland Street, The Give Back Express was open from Friday, November 25th to Sunday, November 27th – one of the busiest shopping weekends before Christmas – and all money raised will help support communities right across the UK.
FareShare forecasts it will redistribute more than 13,000 tons of food to people this winter, while the Trussell Trust reported that 320,000 people used a food bank for the first time between April to September this year4, with the need continuing to rise.
Tesco is also encouraging customers to get involved in its annual Food Collection – launching in Express stores from Monday 28th November to Saturday, December 3rd, and in all Tesco stores nationwide from December 1-3. Customers can donate items in their local store, via a charity donation at the checkout, or by purchasing a pre-packaged donation bag full of essentials. As in previous years, Tesco will once again top up the value of donations made in stores as part of the Food Collection, by a further 20% in cash.
During the festive season, giving back is particularly front of mind for many. The annual Tesco Christmas Report revealed an anticipated rise in charitable giving and requests for donations in place of gifts, with 52% the nation planning to carry out some form of charitable act this Christmas.
Ken Murphy, Tesco Group Chief Executive, said: “This winter will be increasingly challenging for many people facing food uncertainty, and food banks and frontline charities need our help more than ever before. We have been working with FareShare and the Trussell Trust for 10 years and during this time, our generous customers have helped donate over 100 million meals to communities across the UK, with Tesco topping up donations by 20%. Whether it’s at the Give Back Express; in your local store through our annual Food Collection; or via your Clubcard points online, even the smallest donation can make a real difference and help to spread a little more Christmas joy this year.”
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO said: “The cost-of-living crisis is driving millions of people into food insecurity. At a time when food prices and energy bills are rising, the demand for food from FareShare has skyrocketed with 75% of our charities telling us they need access to more food. What we are also hearing from the charities we support is that this situation will only worsen, and they are worried they may not be able to meet the extra demand this winter.
“As we prepare for a challenging winter, The Give Back Express will help us to raise awareness around the work we are doing across the UK to provide food to people facing economic hardship and enable us to show shoppers how they can support us with vital donations via our partner Tesco.”Emma Revie, Chief Executive at Trussell Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to Tesco for the invaluable support that they have provided to food banks across the UK over the last decade. Tesco and its customers are the biggest single source of food donations for the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks, but our partnership has also offered far more than just food. In addition to millions of pounds worth of generous donations, Tesco’s 10 years of support has helped food banks to recruit volunteers, attract new supporters and make their communities aware of the support they provide. Now, at a time when food banks are facing a tsunami of need created by the soaring cost of living, we would like to share a heartfelt thanks to Tesco for their ongoing commitment to helping the Trussell Trust provide people with access to essential items, while we work to create a future where everyone is free from hunger – for good”.