EXTENT OF FOOD POVERTY in North West revealed

TescosMore than one in five people (21%) in the North West have skipped meals, gone without food to feed their family or relied on family or friends for food in the last year according to new research published this week.

The research, carried out by Tesco, the Foodbanks charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare comes as the three organisations prepare to hold the biggest ever food collection in the UK on the 5 and 6 July, following a nationwide collection in December last year. The National Food Collection will take place in Tesco stores across the North West to help provide much needed food for thousands of people in the area.

As part of this initiative, Andrew visited the Haughton Green Tesco Express store on Mancunian Road this week. (Pictured above)

The research found that families in particular are suffering from some form of food poverty, with 21% of parents in the UK struggling to feed their children.

The research shows 70% of families suffering from food poverty with children in primary school education rely in some part on food supplied by schools, either through free school meals or food given out by breakfast or after school clubs. The upcoming school summer holidays could now see a large number of children going hungry.

More than a quarter of parents suffering from some form of food poverty said they were unable to provide food for all the meals their children needed during the school holidays.

Tesco held its first national collection in December last year, raising the equivalent of 2.4 million meals for people in need. Like December, the retailer will be topping up total donations by a further 30%.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“It is quite shocking to find out that one in five people across the North West are effected by Food Poverty. It is a great shame that so many families have been hit by food poverty and I am glad that Tesco are helping with the situation.”

Rebecca Shelley, Group Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco said:

“This research reveals that since our last national food collection in December, the problem of food poverty in the UK has increased and shows no signs of improving. It’s hitting families hard, especially when resources like free school meals, breakfast clubs and after school clubs are not available.

“Because we have stores in so many communities across the UK, we are working with the help of our customers, thousands of our colleagues and volunteers from the Trussell Trust and FareShare to help provide emergency food to people who are struggling.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said:

“FareShare supports more than 900 frontline charities across the country by providing them with good quality, nutritious food. These charities offer not only a meal, but invaluable support to some of the poorest people in our society. Alarmingly, more than a third of these are organisations like breakfast and after school clubs that help feed vulnerable children.

“This collection comes at a crucial time. We fed more people than ever before last year but the demand for our services is rapidly increasing, as more people turn to charities for food than at any other time in FareShare’s history. Thanks to the generous support of Tesco and their customers, we’ll be able to provide them with even more at a time of urgent need.”

Chris Mould, Chairman of the Trussell Trust said:

“That 1 in 5 parents in this country are struggling to afford food for their families and thousands more people are turning to foodbanks for help is a stark reminder of how tough things have become for many ordinary people. Trussell Trust foodbanks have recently seen the biggest ever increase in numbers turning to us for emergency food and foodbanks across the country need more support to cope with demand.

“We’re meeting parents who’ve gone hungry for days in order to feed their children, and school holidays are always especially difficult with many budgets stretched to breaking point. Our foodbanks across the UK are working tirelessly to meet the growing demand and the Tesco collection will provide vital supplies to help stop families going hungry this summer.”

The National Food Collection:

  • Every Tesco store in the North West will be taking part in the collection. For the first time, Tesco Express stores will be joining the collection and customers who prefer to shop for their groceries online will also be able to make a cash donation when they shop.
  • Tesco will also be rolling out permanent collection points in some of its stores, so that customers can donate food year round.
  • Tesco colleagues, volunteers from FareShare and the Trussell Trust and members of the Tesco Retired Staff Association will be helping customers donate food on the 5 and 6 July.
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