Asda donates £5m to two food charities

The money will help FareShare and the Trussell Trust meet demand for basic supplies during the pandemic

Tameside East food bank, supported by the Trussell Trust (Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Tameside East food bank, supported by the Trussell Trust (Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

The supermarket Asda has donated £5m to the food charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help meet demand for basic supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The donation will help both charities deal with an expected significant increase in demand in the weeks ahead caused by the ramifications of the spread of Covid-19, the supermarket said in a statement.

It is expected the funding will help to provide more than four million meals to families in poverty during the crisis and give access to free food to more than 3,000 smaller charities over the next three months.

Asda is also investing in logistics and support services for the Trussell Trust and FareShare, including telephone, online and food delivery systems, as well as the recruitment of 20,000 volunteers to support food banks.

The two charities have an existing Fight Hunger Create Change partnership with Asda.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Food banks face an unprecedented challenge in the coming months.

“The resilience of food banks is nothing short of outstanding, and we’re working closely with our network to help ensure that, wherever possible, people who are unable to afford the essentials can access help.

“But this is not easy. That’s why this support from Asda will make such a difference.

“Protecting people from hunger cannot fall to food banks alone, and we’ll be continuing to push for crucial changes that get money into the pockets of people who most need it. While that work is under way, Asda’s support will help us to ensure the safety of everyone who needs a food bank during the pandemic.”

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “This will aid FareShare to adapt its models to reach the one million vulnerable people whom we currently serve and work with our network of front-line charities to achieve the vital doorstep food deliveries and new food distribution methods we know are so essential at this time.”

Roger Burnley, chief executive of Asda, said: “These are the most extraordinary of times and I am keenly aware of our responsibility to help feed the nation by keeping our shelves stocked and deliveries moving, but also by providing employment opportunities where we can and supporting our charity partners to help the most vulnerable in our communities.”

John Lewis to give £75k to a number of charities

The John Lewis Partnership, which owns the Waitrose supermarket chain, has said it will donate an initial £75,000 to a number of charities, including Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust.

The company said the funding would be used for immediate activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak, giving vital help to those in local communities facing isolation and food insecurity.

The partnership would provide further support and funding to match what the charities needed over the next few months, John Lewis said, for example through volunteering and product donations.

The John Lewis Partnership last week announced new measures to support customers, including the launch of a £1m community support fund to help local communities.

The retailer also launched a support fund to aid staff who are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic, such as childcare costs. Staff, known as partners, will also be offered free meals at work.

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