HARTLEPOOL’S foodbank appeal is set for a big boost thanks to supermarket giant Tesco.
Staff at the town’s Tesco Extra are lending their support to the church-led project to feed hungry families in the run-up to Christmas by holding a collection in store this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, Tesco workers and Foodbank volunteers will be asking for donations from shoppers towards their target.
Selina Wilson, community champion for Tesco, said: “We are looking for donations of long-life goods and also some Christmassy items like mince pies and Christmas puddings.
“There are a lot of people struggling and anything anybody can do to help, even if it is just one small item, it can help make a big difference to people who are finding it difficult to make ends meet at Christmas.”
The newly-launched Hartlepool Foodbank, supported by the Trussell Trust charity, hopes to collect three tonnes of food from the community to give to families most in need in the town.
The Mail is also backing the appeal through our We Can Do It campaign.
Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator, said: “We aim to open soon, so the timing of the national collection is ideal, raising awareness and helping boost our stocks.”
Tesco is holding its biggest ever food collection stores up and down the country for local foodbanks through its Help Feed People in Need initiative. The supermarket chain has teamed up with the Trussell Trust and FareShare charities to help get food to the people who need help most.
It is after new research showed more than one in 10 people in the North East have skipped meals, gone without food or relied on family or friends for food in the last year.
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: “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 feed hundreds of thousands of people in need.”
The collection at Tesco in Burn Road, Hartlepool, runs between 9am and 6pm on Saturday and again from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
Customers can pick up a special shopping list of wanted items to encourage them to buy everyday items like cereals, rice, instant coffee, tinned food and sauces.
Tesco will also be topping up donations by 30 per cent and will provide funding to the Trussell Trust and FareShare towards their work.