We've been working closely with our food charity partner FareShare during the lockdown to donate good quality surplus food from our stores to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic in our local communities.
Our back of store food donation scheme has provided the equivalent of 800,000 meals since March 1 – and means we've helped provide three million meals in total since the initiative began in August 2018.
We've donated food such as non-chilled fruit, vegetables and eggs, dented tins and bread products which can no longer to be sold in store, but are still edible.
These are then collected by local charities and community group and distributed to vulnerable people who need it most. Products with a use by date are not donated.
Our Wolverhampton store has donated an amazing 5,551kg of food since March 1, providing the equivalent of 11,359 meals.
The store's community champion Maureen Higginson, pictured above with store manager Jon Howell, says it's a "brilliant" initiative.
She said: "We're delighted to have been able to help provide all those meals to people in need in our city. We help out five charities, including Love Oasis, Harvest Temple and the Real Junk Food Project, who distribute it through their food banks and through food parcels.
"And, if for some reason they can't come in to collect, they will always email so we can contact one of the other groups so no food goes to waste. It really is a brilliant project and it works well alongside our collection trolleys for our local food bank, The Well."
And Asda Scunthorpe, whose community champion Maggie Holland is pictured below, has donated the 4,355kg of food since March 1 – providing the equivalent of 9,395 meals to the local community.
Store manager Rachael Grayson said: "It's an amazing amount and we're so proud that we've been able to provide those meals to people in our community who've really needed them. We're always happy to donate to FareShare and we always support our local food bank through our Fight Hunger Create Change collection trolleys in store too."
Food banks and community organisations throughout the UK have welcomed our support.
Patricia Stranger, from Hull Council of Disabled People, said the food donations from Asda Hull Bilton had been a "Godsend" during the pandemic. She said: "We're really grateful to our local Asda, they have always been friendly and helpful when we have been for our donations. The food has been a Godsend to a lot of our vulnerable and disabled clients. We hope we can carry on with this partnership for a long time to come.”
Lane End Primary School in Leeds collects donations from Asda Middleton – and headteacher Asa Britton, said: "For our school, which serves families that can go through tough times and need support, FareShare donations from our local Asda Middleton store have made such a difference! We are able to distribute the donated bakery goods to targeted families, which has such a beneficial impact.
"We also use the donations at our Breakfast Club, where vulnerable children are able to attend daily, and have a nutritious breakfast to start the day. We have also used them in cooking lessons, and even used a tray of donated doughnuts as a prize on World Book Day for the winning class of the Poetry Slam! Thank you, Asda!"
And Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg provide food parcels to families using donations collected through Asda Swansea. Angharad Williams, from the school, said: “As a school the Asda donations and excellent help from the staff at Asda have been invaluable to help us get as much food out to families as we can during this very challenging time. All donations are vital to us to support our local community through the pandemic, families who are struggling and in need of support.”
Willington Open Door Methodist Church has remained open during the lockdown and collects from Asda Spennymoor and Asda Bishop Auckland. Joanne Loring, from the church, said: “We have been delighted with the willingness of staff at Asda who have helped us feed over 1,000 people since the start of the lock down. To help the community cope through the Covid-19 pandemic we have been providing food to the elderly, vulnerable self-isolating and families, and everyone is so appreciative. A big thank you Asda."
Karen Dorrat is food project manager for EATS Rosyth which collects food from Asda Dunfermline and Asda St Leonards via FareShare Go. She said: “We collect once a week from Asda St Leonards and Asda Dunfermline and we’ve also had quite a lot of support from the Dalgety Bay store – they’ve really helped us in bulk buying some items as we’ve never had to do that but because we’re making up packs we need to ensure we have enough of each item. Our regular surplus is wide and varied; we get a lot of bread and pastries and rolls, as well as fruit and veg."
Kibble Education & Care Centre in Paisley collects from Asda Linwood and Asda Barrhead and John Scott, child and youth care worker at the organisation, said: “On arriving at Asda Linwood, we are greeted at the customer services desk with politeness and well mannered, professional staff, who contact the store area for other staff to bring the donation down or on occasion will go and collect this by themselves if no busy. We are also given help to take the donations to our car (if it’s a large donation). What a service Asda and Fareshare provide for our vulnerable service users.”
Fred Duncan, is operations director for Reconnected City Hub in Birmingham which collects food from Asda Tipton via FareShare Go. He said: “The weekly essential donations from FareShare and its partners, such as Asda, provides Reconnected priceless opportunities to feed the most vulnerable in our community. Your generosity is unquantifiable. Thank you.”
And Annette Wills, from Kenton Baptist Church, said the food collected from Asda South Ruislip was vital in supporting the local community. She said: “It helps give treats to children that parents cannot otherwise afford. The packets of cereal are extremely useful to everyone. The Asda staff are always helpful and polite when I come to collect. Thank you for all you do.”
Her views were echoed by Joyce Grundy from The Hadhari Centre in Derby which has continued to collect food from Asda Derby throughout the coronavirus crisis. She said: “Asda staff team are always very friendly and welcoming and greet us with a smile, the donations we receive are a god send to those in the community who need it, in our case the elders who are most appreciative and truly grateful. Our sincere thanks to you all.”
All large Asda stores are now donating food via FareShare Go and the scheme continues to roll out in smaller supermarkets to help support even more organisations throughout the pandemic.
Charities or community groups interested in receiving food from Asda can register online at: www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-go.