Bosses at a foodbank are asking Hartlepool residents to help make sure nobody goes hungry this Christmas.
Members of the public are being urged to support Hartlepool Foodbank as it takes part in the Neighbourhood Food Collection this week.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the work we do in helping to stop local people going hungry, and the more volunteers we have at the Neighbourhood Food Collection, the more food we can collect. We’d love it if you could show us your support this December.Al Wales, manager of Hartlepool Foodbank
The event, the UK’s biggest food collection this winter, runs from Thursday to Saturday.
The scheme is run twice each year by supermarket Tesco and its partner charities, foodbank The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare.
The collection aims to provide food to people and families in need all over the UK by encouraging Tesco customers to donate items at their local store, and more than 21 million meals have been collected since it began in 2012.
Al Wales, manager of Hartlepool Foodbank, said: “The Neighbourhood Food Collection will make a real difference to the lives of people in crisis during this festive period.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the work we do in helping to stop local people going hungry, and the more volunteers we have at the Neighbourhood Food Collection, the more food we can collect. We’d love it if you could show us your support this December.”
Josh Hardie, director of corporate social responsibility for Tesco, added: “Over the previous collections it’s been inspiring to see so many come forward to volunteer and help people in crisis.
“As a result of the hard working volunteers, and our generous customers last year we raised 4.7 million meals. At Tesco we want to play our part too, which is why we continue to add an extra 30% to our customers’ donations.
“This is now our seventh Neighbourhood Food Collection and we want to keep up the amazing momentum from previous collections. That’s why it’s so important that we all do what we can to help people who are in need this winter.”
As well as donations, the foodbank is also looking for volunteers to help gather the donations, thank customers and box up the food that is collected.
The Trussell Trust foodbanks provide emergency parcels containing a three-day supply of nutritionally-balanced good to vulnerable men, women and children.
The items the foodbank is looking for in particular are tinned fruit, longlife milk, juice, instant mashed potato, sugar, sponge puddings, custard, tinned meat and soup, and Christmas goods such as mince piece and biscuits, but all items are welcome.
Anyone interested in making a donation or volunteering at the foodbank should contact Al Wales by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01429 598404.