GENEROUS Burnham-on-Sea Tesco shoppers have been thanked after donating nearly 2,000 meals to support FareShare and the Trussell Trust. 

The supermarket's customers are asked to donate long-life food to the charities during the twice-yearly Tesco Food Collection, which last ran from November 18 to 20. 

Shoppers in Burnham-on-Sea donated 1,971 meals during the campaign, and 14,949 meals were donated across Somerset's Tesco stores. 

A total of 1.57 million meals were donated nationally during November's Tesco Food Collection, with stores across the country reporting customers had given the highest volume in food donations since the start of the pandemic. 

The donations will help food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provide emergency parcels, and help FareShare supply thousands of frontline charities.

The Trussell Trust operates five Somerset food banks: Highbridge Area, Bridgwater, Taunton, Cheddar Valley, Clevedon District, and Weston-super-Mare.

The charity's Highbridge Area food bank has two centres: Hope Baptist Church, Highbridge, and Burnham Methodist Church. 

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: VOLUNTEERS: The Trussell Trust's Highbridge area food bankVOLUNTEERS: The Trussell Trust's Highbridge area food bank

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said the donations helped provide food to people who faced "impossible decisions" at Christmas. 

She said: "Throughout 2021, communities across the UK have stepped in to provide vital support to people at food banks left without enough money for the essentials.

"This emergency lifeline is only possible due to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers, including those in Burnham-on-Sea, during the Tesco Food Collection.

"Right now, people near you are making impossible decisions between staying warm or buying food, as food banks in our network face providing 7,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis every day this month.

"It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for the essentials, but we continue to be truly humbled by how much people are willing to give, so we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks."

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: DONATIONS: The most recent Tesco Food Collection ran between November 18 and 20 DONATIONS: The most recent Tesco Food Collection ran between November 18 and 20

FareShare operates in 1,500 towns and cities across the UK, and their distribution centres provide surplus food to charities. 

Julian Mines, CEO of FareShare South West, said shoppers’ donations will make a huge difference to the frontline charities they supply.

"The Food Collection is so important to FareShare because donations of long-life items mean we are able to complement the fresh food that we receive year-round from Tesco with staples like rice, tinned vegetables, and tea and coffee," he said. 

"Thank you to every single Tesco customer who donated to the food collection this year.

"Your generous donations will help us to continue supporting local charities and community groups that are helping to feed people in need this winter."

Tesco has topped up all customer donations with a 20 per cent cash donation to the two charities to support their work feeding people in communities across the UK. 

Claire de Silva, head of community at Tesco, thanked everyone who took part. 

She said: "At this time more than ever, we are hugely grateful for the support of all our customers in Burnham-on-Sea who have donated in store for making this the biggest collection of long-life food in our stores since the start of the pandemic.

"We know this will make a really significant difference to local people this winter."

Read more: Food bank use still ‘well above’ pre-pandemic level 

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