A £15m UK-wide donation of food from Tesco has been helping a local foodbank support those unable to afford essentials during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foyle Foodbank has seen demand surge, with 200 families per month availing of its services over the last two months alone.
With almost 90% of Foyle Foodbank’s stock coming from donations made in local supermarkets, the increase from Tesco is helping the food bank’s work.
“Tesco’s food donations have helped us greatly, as they are sending essential items that we would run short of most of the year,” said the food bank’s manager James McMenamin.
“In the past two months 200 families a month have been using our services, so these extra donations ensure we can distribute as many essential food packages as possible to the most vulnerable in our community.”
The food bank’s local Tesco store at Quayside Shopping Centre has donated over 800kg of food donations since the start of the year and over the last three weeks, over a tonne of extra food has been delivered.
Tesco is donating the additional £15m of food to support partner charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust, of which Foyle Foodbank is a member.
Recent figures, released by the Trust, show an 80% rise in demand for food banks since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The Trust’s operations manager for Northern Ireland, Paul Armstrong, said they were grateful for Tesco’s support during the pandemic.
He said: “Food banks in our network across Northern Ireland have gone above and beyond to ensure they’re able to continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food.
“These additional food donations from Tesco have helped to ensure people in financial crisis in Northern Ireland are able to access the emergency food and support they need during these challenging times.”
Tesco’s Head of Community, Claire De Silva, said: “In every part of the UK there are charities and community groups doing amazing work to feed people during the pandemic, and we are glad that we have been able to support them in helping so many vulnerable people.”
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