Andy Murray, our Chief Customer Officer, explains how we’ve joined forces with FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help tackle food poverty.

It’s a great honour and privilege to be part of a community – and at Asda we take our responsibilities to the communities we serve seriously. Our customers know they can rely on us for great value on their shopping – but they also expect us to do the right thing in their community.

For decades, our colleagues have been giving back to the local area around their store, and they have done some amazing things for their neighbours. But when we’ve asked our customers and colleagues, “where do you want us to focus our efforts in your community now?” the answer has come back loud and clear. Do something to tackle food poverty.

Right now, in the UK 8.4 million people are struggling to afford to eat. One in 10 people in the UK are missing meals to pay their bills – and one in four of those are children. And yet, four million tonnes of perfectly decent food is wasted each year in the UK. We simply cannot – and will not – accept food being wasted whilst people in our communities go hungry. We've listened to our customers and want to take on their challenge to fight hunger and create change.

That’s why we’ve decided to join forces with FareShare and The Trussell Trust to develop a truly innovative new partnership that will revolutionise the support foodbanks in the UK are able to offer people in food poverty.

We call it 'Asda Fight Hunger Create Change' and over the next three years we will invest over £20 million in ensuring foodbanks have the capacity and infrastructure to offer fresh food and much needed support and advice to people in need.

The thinking behind the idea is simple, but its potential is huge.

Investing in the infrastructure of The Trussell Trust and FareShare will enable them to transport and store more fresh food, ensuring the people who need their services can access fresh and nutritious food, which is vital to a balanced diet. The programme will also help to embed services such as debt counselling and job advice in foodbanks, allowing people to access information that will help them out of food poverty. We'll also expand our existing food donation services to ensure that by 2020, every one of our stores is able to donate their surplus food to food banks and do even more to support their local community.

This action goes much further than simply donating to foodbanks, but supports their infrastructure and vital services – allowing them to provide an additional 24 million meals every year, give 500,000 more people access to fresh food in the UK and support 1 million people to get themselves out of food poverty.

I believe this programme is our moment to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I have absolute confidence that our Community Colleagues will deliver this programme with all the passion and commitment that they are renowned for. Every colleague in every shop, depot and office will have the opportunity to support their community in this initiative and together with the UK’s leading forces on this agenda, we will deliver on our promise to our customers. We will work to fight hunger, and we will create change for those who need it most.

Read the full announcement about our partnership in the press release here.