OVER 8,000 meals have been donated to people in need this winter by supermarket customers in Basingstoke.

Tesco customers have provided meals to both the Trussell Trust and FareShare by donating food at collection points in the stores or rounding up their bill to support the charity.

The Trussell Trust works to end the need for foodbanks in the UK, as well as supporting people facing hardship with emergency food supplies while FareShare aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste in the UK.

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The charities are facing an unprecedented level of demand this winter due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The Trussell Trust expects to distribute one food parcel every eight seconds over the next three months, whilst FareShare has a waiting list of over 1,500 charities seeking food this winter.

Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said: “The generosity of our customers is truly amazing. At a time when people are facing financial strain, they still went out of their way to support our charity partners.

“From a single carton of long-life milk to a whole trolley of items, every customer who donated helped us to make this one of the most successful Winter Food Collections ever.”

George Wright, chief executive at FareShare, said: “With so many people struggling to afford basic essentials this winter, it’s really uplifting to see that Tesco customers have donated so much food to help people facing hunger in the community.

“Not only did they donate food, but many of them also donated their time by volunteering in store to help us collect much-needed items this year too.

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“We are immensely grateful to Tesco and its customers for the invaluable support we have received over the last 11 years and for donating more than any other food partner in our history.

“Thank you to everyone that donated food, money or time this year – your generosity will ensure we can continue getting vital food to the people that need it most this Christmas.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, added: "People’s generosity never fails to amaze me and it is wonderful to see that once again communities and Tesco stores across the UK have come together to support their local food banks and ensure that they can be there for everyone who needs them this winter.

“Everyone should have enough money to afford the essentials and when food banks in our network are expecting to provide a food parcel every eight seconds between December and February, it’s clear that something is wrong.

“That is why we continue our long-term work to achieve a future where no one needs to access emergency food and, while we do that, every item that is donated will make a real difference to addressing the urgent levels of need this winter.”