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Food Collection

The Food Collection is part of our ongoing effort to encourage customers to donate long-life food to charity. The December 2016 collection contributed 3.4 million meals to people in need. Since we ran our first collection in 2012, we have collected over 46 million meals.

In partnership with the Trussell Trust and Fareshare

Who benefits

Our two charity partners – The Trussell Trust and FareShare – support a wide range of people in the UK who find themselves in desperate need of support. There are many reasons why people find themselves in this situation, from receiving an unexpected bill when on a low income to being alone and struggling to fight an addiction. Here are some examples of the individuals and groups that the Food Collection helps:

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Our charity partners

We work with two charities who are helping to feed people in need in local communities around the UK.

Emergency food and support for people in crisis

Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days of emergency food to individuals and families in crisis. Frontline, professional agencies like the Citizen's Advice Bureau and children centres refer people who are facing a crisis to their local foodbank.

People visiting foodbanks are welcomed, listened to and signposted to other services that are able to provide further support, helping to break the cycle of poverty.

By donating food you can help support local people in crisis in a simple practical way.

Visit the Trussell Trust website

Fighting hunger, tackling food waste

FareShare is a UK-wide charity that redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste to charities and community groups, including homeless shelters, children's breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations turn the food into nutritious meals and provide life-changing support.

In the last year, 6,723 charities and community groups received 13,552 tons of food through FareShare, providing 28.6 million meals for people in need with an estimated value to the charity sector of £22.4 million.

Each charity saves on average £13,000 per year, which can be reinvested into other support services to help get people back on their feet.

Visit the Fareshare website

How you can help

Donate items in store

It’s really easy to donate food in one of our stores. Simply pick up any of the items on either shopping list, and leave it at the food collection point in one of our stores. Over 600 of our stores have permanent collection points, which means you can donate food all year round.

  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Pasta sauces
  • Instant coffee
  • Milk (UHT or powdered)
  • Fruit juice (long life)
  • Tinned pudding
  • Jam
  • Instant mash potato
  • Christmas fare
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned soup
  • Tinned/dried pulses
  • Tinned baked beans
  • Tinned pies
  • Cooking oil
  • Jams, spreads, preserves
  • Instant coffee
  • UHT milk
  • Tea
  • Rice
  • Pasta

Looking at where you can donate food?

Find your nearest store with a permanent food collection point here

Meals total

So far we have helped to raise an incredible 46 million meals for people in need. This includes customer donations as well as the 20% top-up from Tesco and food donated to our permanent collection points.

46m

Thank you for all your continued support, the food we raise makes a big difference to people’s lives

What we’re doing

This is how Tesco supports the Food Collection.

Food Collection

We hold a Food Collection in all of our stores once a year. We also have permanent collection points in over 600 stores.

We hold Food Collections once a year with FareShare and The Trussell Trust. We also have permanent collection points in 600 of our stores across the UK, so that customers can donate food all year long. Furthermore, food banks can hold local collections throughout the year in our stores. During the food collections thousands of our colleagues take part in helping to collect and sort the food. We also deliver all the food collected for FareShare to their 20 regional depots.

20% top-up

We add up how much food our customers have donated, then top this up by 20%.

Following each Food Collection we top up our customers' donations by 20%, which helps both charities to feed even more people across the UK.

The Trussell Trust redistributes its top-up to food banks depending on how much food is collected at the food bank's partnered Tesco store. This money is then used to purchase items of food and day-to-day running costs. FareShare uses the top-up to invest in its delivery service, which helps provide food to even more people and charities across the UK.

Surplus food distribution

Tesco has recently partnered with FareShare and FoodCloud to redistribute surplus food in our stores, directly to charities and community groups.

Tesco has recently partnered with FareShare along with Irish social enterprise FoodCloud to redistribute surplus food in our stores, directly to charities and community groups. Using the FareShare FoodCloud app, our stores will alert charities to the amount of surplus food we have at the end of each day. The charity then confirms it wants the food, picks it up free of charge from our store and turns it into meals for those in need. Read more about surplus food distribution.

This builds on the programme we've had in place since September 2012 to divert over 5,900 tonnes of surplus food from our online and fresh food distribution centres via FareShare to charities and community groups around the UK – enough to provide over 14 million meals. The food includes meat, chicken, fruit, vegetables and desserts.

FAQs

What is the Food Collection?

The food collection is held in all Tesco stores, in conjunction with The Trussell Trust and FareShare, to collect and redistribute food to people in need.

When is the next Food Collection?

You can donate food year-round in over 600 stores across the UK.

All the food will help feed people in need in the UK. Thank you for your generous donations.

How can I get involved in volunteering?

Volunteers provide essential support to the Food Collection, such as helping to raise awareness with our customers and managing the donated food.

To find out more and get involved, visit FareShare and Trussell Trust.

What happens to the food that I donate?

Some of our stores collect for their local Trussell Trust foodbank while others collect for their regional FareShare depot, from where the food is redistributed to community groups and local charities. No matter where you donate, the food you give will help people in need.

Is there a way I can donate anytime?

Yes there is. We now have permanent food collection points in over 600 of our stores across the country. Find a permanent collection point near you.

What does Tesco do with its surplus food?

Firstly we try to minimise any waste by reducing to-clear foods close to their expiry date in store. Through our partnership with FareShare FoodCloud we are working on making surplus available directly to local charities, so it can be used to support people in need.

Since September 2012 we have also worked with FareShare to divert over 5,900 tonnes of surplus food from our online and fresh food distribution centres to charities and community groups around the UK - enough to provide over 14 million meals to people in need. The food includes meat, chicken, fruit, vegetable and desserts.

Does Tesco profit from the Food Collection?

No we don't. By topping up all customer donations by 20% we ensure that we don't profit from any food bought by customers in our stores and then donated to one of our two partner charities. We also encourage thousands of colleagues to take part in collecting and sorting the food, and we deliver all the food collected for FareShare to their 20 regional depots. Furthermore, we pay for all of the marketing materials used to promote the Food Collection.

How do you calculate the 20% top up?

The top-up is calculated using an average valuation of £1.68/kg for all food donated. This valuation is calculated by looking up the items that make up a standard food parcel (as handed out by the charity) and checking the prices of these items in Tesco's standard own-label range. The total weight of the box and total value of all the items inside are then used to reach the £1.68/kg valuation used. On the day of the collections, stores with Trussell Trust food banks will weigh all the food collected, calculate a total value (at £1.68/kg), of which 20% will be given by Tesco to the Trussell Trust. In stores that are collecting for FareShare, the food will be delivered back to FareShare's local depots, where the food will be weighed. The total weight collected will be used to calculate a total value (based on the £1.68/kg valuation), of which 20% will be given by Tesco to FareShare.

The meals total is based on an initial estimated weight of food collected, as we will not have the final weights until several weeks after the collection. We know that the average weight of a green tray of food is 11.1kg. From the estimated total of full trays given to us by each store across the UK we have then calculated the total weight using the 11.1 average. This has then given us a total weight for each store. The charities have provided us with a figure of 420g = 1 meal. We use this to calculate the meals total across the UK.

For example, the total estimated weight collected in one store equals 700kg. This is divided by 0.42 (the average weight of a meal) to give 1,667 meals. This is then be topped up by 20% to result in 2,167 meals.