The generous donation will be used to purchase high quality cheese and meats with a mixture of ambient food in the New Year to help FareShare continue providing food to frontline organisations feeding those in need across the UK.
Earlier this year, the supermarket provided £15m of food to FareShare and the Trussell Trust to support those who needed help at the start of the pandemic.
In addition to the extra donations to FareShare, Tesco is expanding its food donation programme to help families eat more fresh fruit and vegetables over the winter. From 16 November, the supermarket will give any of the 500,000 families who use the weekly Healthy Start vouchers a £1 coupon to spend on fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. Every time a customer hands over their vouchers at the checkout, they will automatically receive the money-off coupon to redeem off their next shop.
Marcus Rashford’s Child Poverty Task Force, of which FareShare and Tesco are members, is currently pressing the government to increase the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10).
Healthy Start is a government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits. Under the scheme, eligible families are provided with vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried, and tinned pulses, and infant formula milk.
Jason Tarry, Tesco UK & ROI CEO, said: “Right now, many families are facing hardship as a result of the pandemic and we want to help by providing nutritious food to those who need it. In addition to topping up the Healthy Start vouchers by £1 each week, we’re providing an extra £4m of food to FareShare in the run up to Christmas, on top of our regular monthly food donations, to support food banks and community groups with vital supplies at a time when so many people are relying on them.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, said: “Demand for food has more than doubled at FareShare as a result of the pandemic and 90% of the charities we serve expect demand to remain the same as crisis levels or increase through the winter. That’s why we are so grateful to Tesco for helping us to support families in need and the extensive support they are offering which will make a big difference to so many people’s lives during the tough winter months ahead.”