Lots of our wonderful community champions regularly volunteer with their local foodbanks – and thanks to our new Asda Fight Hunger Create Change initiative they're stepping up the support they provide across the country.
Asda Fight Hunger Create Change – an innovative partnership with FareShare and The Trussell Trust – aims to lift one million people out of food poverty, with an investment of at least £20 million over the next three years.
Our investment, which is funded by part by revenue generated by the sale of our Bags for Life, will help them transport and store more fresh food – and also embed support services in food banks, such as debt advice. Find out more here.
Many of our stores' community champions already have close ties with their local Trussell Trust foodbanks and FareShare charity food members – like Gwen Appleton from our Leigh store, who's volunteered at Atherton and Leigh food bank every week for the last five years and and recently presented them with a £500 cheque from the store's Green Token Giving scheme.
The foodbank's manager Warren Done said: "We set up the foodbank together with The Trussell Trust in March 2013, and Gwen has supported us and promoted us almost since the start.
"She's been a massive help. We know it's not easy for people who come into the foodbank, so Gwen meets them, shows them to a table and talks to them. She's caring and has real empathy.
"The donation is a massive help too because we couldn't survive without financial donations and food donations, and Asda are able to provide both."
Gwen said: "I've been going to this foodbank for as long as I've been in my role and I absolutely love it. The volunteers are wonderful.
"I started out packing the food and now I spend most of my time chatting to and reassuring the people who come in, because they can get upset.
"They've got to know me so I sit and talk to them while they tell me about the problems they're having. It's heart-rending. All sorts of people come in – young, old, single people and families, from all sorts of backgrounds.
"We have a food donation point in store which is full every week. It's such a vital cause in our community."
Our Coventry store's community champion Lynda Cole has been volunteering at The Trussell Trust's Midlands hub – a distribution centre which sorts food and clothing before these items are sent out to the region's foodbanks.
Lynda said: "I've been volunteering there once a week, it's a really important cause. The volunteers are just fantastic.
"The hub receives so many items of clothing and these all need sorting out, it just shows that foodbanks are not just about feeding people."
Our Stockton store's community champion Michaela Palfreeman and Thornaby community champion Cath Abel have also been helping out at Middlesbrough foodbank which was founded by The Trussell Trust. Michaela's picture above sorting some of the food which has been donated.
We're holding collections for local food banks in many of our stores over the next fortnight. Here are just a few of the photos our community champions have been sharing of the activity:
Read more about the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change campaign here.