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Charities urge people in Cymru South Wales to volunteer for UK’s biggest winter food drive

As food banks and frontline charities face up to their hardest Christmas ever, people in Cymru South Wales are being urged to give the gift of their time and take part in the UK’s biggest food donation drive.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in all Tesco stores from December 1 to 3 and the Trussell Trust and FareShare are urging volunteers to sign-up to support the event in store.

It comes as both charities face an unprecedented demand for food. The Trussell Trust, which has the largest foodbank network in the UK, has seen a 46% increase in the number of food parcels given out in recent months, while FareShare has a growing list of thousands more frontline charities seeking food.

During the collection Tesco customers will be encouraged to donate long-life food to support the charities in their work. Donations for the Trussell Trust will help its network of food banks provide emergency food parcels to people in crisis, while donations to FareShare will support its food deliveries to thousands of frontline charities. Tesco, which has been partnering with the charities for the past 10 years, will once again top up the customer donations by 20% in cash.

Volunteers are needed to staff the collection points because when volunteers are present they collect considerably more food. The fact that one in five food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust come from donations from Tesco and its customers underlines how much the donations made in store are needed.

Cleide Correia, Project Manager at Merthyr Cynon Foodbank, said: “The cost of living crisis is affecting us all, but for families on the very lowest incomes this crisis means so much more. It means having to make impossible decisions between putting food on the table or affording internet access for the children to do their homework – and too many people are being left with no option but to use a food bank because their money simply won’t stretch. We are expecting that even more people in Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil and Mountain Ash will be forced to use a food bank this winter and the Tesco Collection is vital in ensuring we can support everyone who comes through our doors.

“Supporting the Tesco Food Collection this December by volunteering could make all the difference to your local food bank during this busy period. You could donate a couple of hours of time and volunteer during the collection or, alternatively, you could donate food to your local Tesco donation point.”

Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is forcing more and more people to turn to their local charities for support with food and other services, meaning the demand for FareShare food has skyrocketed.

“The Tesco Food Collection is a vital event for FareShare, helping to bring in much needed long-life food that will help us continue our support of the people most in need this winter. Volunteering at the Tesco Food Collection this December will make a huge difference during this increasingly difficult time.”

You can sign up to volunteer with FareShare at https://fareshare.org.uk/foodcollection/ or with the Trussell Trust at https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/tesco-food-collection/volunteer/