Asda stores across the UK are launching a week-long food drive today to support their local food banks with 'vital' donations ahead of the school holidays.

Customers will be encouraged to donate in-demand items such as tinned goods and hygiene products to their local foodbank in a trolley at the front of the store. For the first time, Asda is also trialling playing a reminder video on the Scan & Go wall to see if this helps increase the amount of food donated.

Every summer, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network report an increase in demand for emergency food for children over the summer holidays due to the extra financial pressure put on families who rely on free school meals during term time.* This high demand often causes many food banks to distribute more food than is donated which leaves them short of food supplies.

Between April 2018 and March 2019, 1.6 million emergency food parcels were distributed which is a 19% rise year on year and it is expected that this trend will continue into the summer.

Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer for Asda said “We already have permanent food collection points in store and encourage our customers to donate what they can, but over the next week we’re really trying to increase the number of donations as we go into the summer holidays, when food banks sadly see such an increase in demand from families.

“Our customers and colleagues are always very generous and I want to thank them for supporting our Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme, which will make a difference in their local community, as well as on a larger scale as we continue to help people out of poverty.”

Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust said: “No one should face going hungry at any time of year. Work is already underway as part of the Fight Hunger Create Change partnership to help us campaign for change and work towards a future where no one needs a food bank.

“While we work in the long term to tackle the structural issues that lock people in poverty, food banks in our network need your help this summer. Your generous donations will make such a difference at a time when food banks see a squeeze on the stock levels of food they have to offer people. The food you donate will help make sure families referred this summer holiday receive vital support at exactly the time when it’s most needed.”

The drive is part of Asda’s Fight Hunger Create Change programme, a three-year, £20m partnership between the supermarket, anti-poverty charity the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare. The partnership will enable FareShare to double their capacity, meaning more food can reach those in need, while supporting the Trussell Trust to provide even more support to people referred to food banks and work towards a future without food banks through better research into the drivers of food bank use.

In June, Asda launched an industry-first You Buy One We Give One promotion with Warburtons, in which for every product customers buy, another is donated to the charity FareShare.

The latest available figures show that in the last 5 years, food bank use in the Trussell Trust’s network of over 420 foodbanks has increased by 73%.