PEOPLE in Basingstoke are being urged to give the gift of their time to take part in the UK’s biggest food donation drive.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in Tesco stores from Thursday, November 30 to Saturday, December 2, with the Trussell Trust and FareShare urging volunteers to sign up to support the event.

It comes as both charities face their busiest winter yet, with more people turning to them for support. The Trussell Trust, which has the largest foodbank network in the UK, is expecting to distribute more than one million emergency food parcels between December and February, while FareShare has over 1,500 frontline charities on its waiting list seeking food.

During the collection, Basingstoke 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 who cannot afford the essentials, while donations to FareShare will get food to its network of local charities and community groups.

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Tesco is calling on volunteers to staff its store collection points to raise awareness of the impact every donation will have on people who rely on Trussell Trust and FareShare for food.

Donations are needed now more than ever, with one in five Trussell Trust food parcels coming from Tesco and its customers.

Trussell Trust Chief Executive Emma Revie said: “This winter is going to be the toughest yet for the food banks in our network, as they will help approximately 600,000 people and provide an emergency parcel every eight seconds. The teams in our food banks are working tirelessly to ensure everyone receives the support they need, but they cannot do it alone.

“By volunteering at the Tesco Winter Food Collection, you will not only be helping to gather much-needed donations to keep your local food bank going, you’ll also be making a real difference to families who cannot afford the essentials in your community. If you can spare a few hours to volunteer, then please do.”

George Wright, chief executive at FareShare, added: “We anticipate need will keep rising as people continue to struggle to afford the essentials like food and heating this winter. Tesco’s support for FareShare throughout the cost-of-living crisis and the last 11 years has been unwavering, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support in helping drive more donations during what will be a difficult winter for many.

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“Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the Tesco Food Collection each year. By giving up just three hours of your time, you can make a huge impact by helping more people understand the importance of donating food to FareShare during this increasingly difficult time.”

Claire De Silva, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Every year our Winter Food Collection gets such an amazing response from our customers. We know that they give even more generously when we have volunteers in our stores, helping them to choose the right items that are needed, so we would urge anyone who can to please sign up and help make a difference.”

People in Basingstoke can sign up to volunteer with FareShare at or with the Trussell Trust at