Feeding the 5,000 in Hartlepool: Tesco shoppers’ biblical-scale boost for foodbank

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Generous Tesco customers in Hartlepool donated enough food to make over 5,000 meals for people in crisis during the latest food bank collection.

The seventh Neighbourhood Food Collection took place over three days between December 3 and 5, at the town’s Tesco Express in partnership with foodbank charity The Trussell Trust, and food redistribution charity Fareshare.

Al Wales

Al Wales

At the end of it, supporters had given sufficient donations to create an incredible 5,256 meals for Hartlepool people, including over Christmas.

Hartlepool Foodbank manager Al Wales said: “I continue to be amazed at the ongoing generosity of Hartlepool residents and the Tesco collection along with our harvest donations has gone a long way to boost our stock levels ready for the winter months.

“It was especially wonderful to have people donating who had used the foodbank themselves and explained what a difference it had made to them and how keen they were to help out now by donating.

“The Tesco collection meant we could include Christmas treats such as mince pies and selections packs.

The Tesco collection along with our harvest donations has gone a long way to boost our stock levels ready for the winter months

Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank manager

“A huge thank you to everyone who donated or volunteered to help with the collection, it really makes a massive difference to families who are struggling.”

Halifax and B&E group staff joined the foodbank’s warehouse team to make up food boxes for their referral agencies.

During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, tinned vegetables, tinned meat and Christmas fare.

Twenty five local foodbank volunteers were joined by Tesco staff and the store generously topped up all donations by 30%.

David McAuley, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to all those who participated in this December’s Neighbourhood Food Collection.

“The staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store staff and volunteers, will enable foodbanks UK wide to provide vital food and support to people who find themselves struggling, making this Christmas a little brighter for people in crisis.”

Hartlepool Foodbank, in Church Street, is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 11.30am-1.30pm, but will be closed from Wednesday, December 23 to Monday, January 4.