PONTYPOOL shoppers donated more than 3,500 meals to food banks and groups feeding people in the local community as part of the Tesco Food Collection project.

In total, 3,559 meals were donated during November's collection, contributing to the 2.5 million meals donated nationwide to the Trussell Trust and FareShare

The donations to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network are being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare go to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs who also receive surplus food from Tesco stores.

The Tesco Food Collection project saw a three-day collection held in stores across the UK, in addition to items donated by customers throughout the year at more than 500 permanent collection points in Tesco stores. In the year to October more than seven million meals were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network at those in-store collection points.

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As well as organising the collection, Tesco topped up the value of all the donations by an additional 20 per cent.

Tesco director Christine Heffernan thanked customers for their donations.

“On my visits to stores during the collection I was taken aback by the generosity of our customers,” she said. “I would like to thank all those who donated and we will be doing our bit by topping up all the donations by 20 per cent.”

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Shoppers in Pontypool donate more than 3,500 meals to food banks such as this one through the Tesco Food Collection project. Picture: Tesco

The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said: “Food banks up and down the country could not do what they do without the incredible support of the public and their loyal volunteers who work tirelessly to help people when they need support the most.

“An emergency food parcel, listening ear and compassionate, practical advice at the food bank can make a real difference when someone is facing a crisis. Any donations help make that difference.”

“We are hugely grateful to every single person who volunteered and donated items during this year’s Tesco Food Collection," said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare. "It was wonderful to see so many passionate people lending a hand to support us.

"All items donated by Tesco customers will be redistributed by FareShare to charities and community organisations and will help to ensure more people get a hot, nutritious meal.”