Charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare are appealing to people in East Antrim to volunteer their help for the Christmas food collection for people in need.
From Thursday, November 21, until Saturday, November 23, the two charities will be collecting food in Tesco stores across Northern Ireland during the annual Tesco Food Collection. They are looking for local volunteers right across County Antrim to encourage shoppers to donate, so that as much food as possible can be collected.
During the collection customers are encouraged to donate long-life food to help food banks and community groups support people in need at Christmas.
Tesco will top up customer donations by 20 per cent to further support the two charities in their work.
Last year, 3.5 million meals were collected as part of the Tesco Food Collection, and, since its launch in 2012 more than 50 million meals have been donated to the two charities by generous Tesco customers.
To make this year’s collection a success volunteers are needed to hand out shopping lists to customers, so they can see the food items most needed by food banks and community groups in their area, and to encourage people to donate.
Emma Revie, chief executive at The Trussell Trust said: “No one should need a food bank at any time of year – but we know during the lead-up to Christmas our network of food banks see even more people needing help.
“Food banks will be doing all they can to provide vital emergency support so people don’t face hunger this Christmas. But to make sure there are enough donations, we need your support.
“Having your support in this year’s Tesco Food Collection will make a real difference – the more people who volunteer, the more food will be collected from generous shoppers, and the better prepared food banks will be to help local people.”
Farihah Choudhury volunteered at the last Tesco Food Collection, collecting donations for local groups supported by FareShare - a food redistribution charity which takes food from the food industry that can’t be sold in shops either because of packaging errors, a short shelf life or overproduction.
She said: “I loved volunteering last year - it was great to speak with shoppers donating food. The kindness I saw was wonderful and gave me a lot of hope. I believe everyone should have access to good, healthy food and I’d encourage anyone who can to give some time to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.”
People interested in volunteering can find out more and sign up at www.fareshare/tescofoodcollection