This week marks a significant milestone in our £20m Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme to tackle food poverty. Our Chief Operating Officer Andy Murray explains more…

I’m really proud to reveal the first major infrastructure investment delivered by the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme – a new warehouse for FareShare in the East Midlands which will enable them to provide over 500,000 additional meals each year to help feed people in need.

It’s important for all businesses to recognise that, whatever they do, they are part of a community – and at Asda we take our responsibilities to the communities we serve seriously.

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.

Our community champions, like Debbie Kenney from our nearby Leicester superstore, work tirelessly with local charities and community groups, volunteering their time, helping with fundraising and making their store a real hub for its community.

Debbie is just one of the hundreds of Asda community champions across the country who do such a brilliant and important job, and have done for years.

When we asked our customers and colleagues where they thought we should focus our efforts in the community they asked us to do something to tackle food poverty.

That’s why we joined forces with FareShare and the Trussell Trust to develop the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme – a truly innovative partnership that is revolutionising the support community groups and foodbanks in the UK are able to offer people in food poverty.

We’re investing £20 million into the charities so they can provide more food – including fresh food – to community groups and foodbanks, and tackle the root causes of food poverty.

Our partnership with FareShare and the Trussell Trust builds on the food donation programme we established with FareShare in 2013, providing a deep investment into the infrastructure and vital services at both charities.

Our investment means that, between us, we’ll provide an additional 24 million meals every year, giving 500,000 more people access to fresh food and supporting one million people to get themselves out of food poverty.

The Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme can accelerate and vastly increase the impact FareShare can make, but it is nothing without more volunteers willing to give up their time to do something amazing. FareShare do an incredible job across the country, powered by the selfless dedication of their volunteers.

The impact this warehouse will have on local communities right across the East Midlands is enormous. It’s much more than just a building – the depot features a chiller so FareShare can distribute fresh produce and our support has also funded a forklift truck, a van, and a driver.

The stats speak for themselves – it will enable FareShare to recruit over 180 new charity food members in the next three years and provide over half a million meals to local vulnerable people in the first year alone. That’s real, tangible change in communities in Leicestershire and beyond.

Debbie and our other community champions are already out there getting stuck in, with all the passion and commitment that they are renowned for. But I would urge anybody in the wanting to make things better for their communities to help FareShare and Asda deliver an even greater social impact.

For us, this is the first, exciting step on a journey to transform the way in which we tackle food poverty in the UK.

Get involved: Find out more about volunteering with FareShare here and see how to join the Trussell Trusts’s volunteers here.