Tesco asks shoppers to spare a can for Hartlepool Foodbank

Hartlepool Foodbank volunteers during a previous collection at Tesco
Hartlepool Foodbank volunteers during a previous collection at Tesco

‘Every can helps’ is the message as Tesco supports a national appeal to boost foodbank stocks starting today.

The Tesco Extra superstore in Burn Road, Hartlepool, is hosting a collection for Hartlepool Foodbank over the next three days.

Every week we speak to people who never thought they’d face going hungry

Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank manager

It is part of the retailer’s twice-yearly nationwide Neighbourhood Food Collection in partnership with the Trussell Trust charity which runs the Hartlepool Foodbank.

Between now and Saturday, supporters are asked to give whatever they can to help make emergency food parcels for local people in financial crisis.

Since the collections launched in 2012, 30 million meals have been collected nationwide.

Al Wales, manager of Hartlepool Foodbank, said: “Anyone can find themselves in need of a foodbank.

“Every week we speak to people who never thought they’d face going hungry, but something unexpected happened; an illness, redundancy or the boiler breaking, and they were thrown into crisis.

“We’re glad we can be here to help, we are grateful for the ongoing support we have across the town with many people donating regularly on a weekly or monthly basis.

“The supermarket collections provide an opportunity to engage with the community.

“We are reliant on the supermarkets’ collections as over the years they have provided a considerable boost to our stock levels allowing us to continue providing help.”

Anywhere between 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes of food are pledged during the collections.

Last summer, Tesco customers donated enough to make 5,811 meals for foodbank users in Hartlepool.

And last year, it provided 1,932 three-day emergency food supplies for people in the town.

People are referred to the foodbank in Church Street by frontline professionals including Citizens’ Advice, housing associations and children’s centres.

With 1.1 million emergency food parcels given to people in crisis last year alone, the Trussell Trust says supermarket collections remain an important way to ensure its foodbanks are well stocked.

Anything is welcome, but the foodbank is particularly asking for donations of tinned meat, sugar, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, rice, UHT milk, fruit juice and pasta sauces.

Volunteers are also needed at the Hartlepool collection. If you are interested in giving up a few hours of your time to help, get in touch with organisers by emailing: info@hartlepool.foodbank.org.uk