Supermarket giant Asda is doing its bit for the coronavirus war effort by donating £5m to food charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the charities meet demand for basic supplies during the pandemic.
Both organisations are bracing themselves for a significant increase in requests for help in the coming weeks and months as the Covid-19 outbreak triggers huge job losses and with it an uncertain financial future for millions of families and individuals across the UK.
The funding will help to provide more than 4 million meals to families in poverty during the crisis and give access to free food to more than 3,000 smaller charities over the next three months.
Asda is also investing in logistics and support services for FareShare and the Trussell Trust including telephone, online and food delivery systems, as well as the recruitment of 20,000 volunteers to support food banks.
The two charities have an existing Fight Hunger Create Change partnership with Asda.
Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie that food banks face an unprecedented challenge in the coming months, adding that their resilience is “nothing short of outstanding”.
Revie explained: “We’re working closely with our network to help ensure that, wherever possible, people who are unable to afford the essentials can access help. But this is not easy. That’s why this support from Asda will make such a difference.
“Protecting people from hunger cannot fall to food banks alone, and we’ll be continuing to push for crucial changes that get money into the pockets of people who most need it. While that work is under way, Asda’s support will help us to ensure the safety of everyone who needs a food bank during the pandemic.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said that the donation will help the charity to adapt its models to reach the 1 million vulnerable people whom it currently serves and work with its network of front-line charities to achieve the essential doorstep food deliveries and new food distribution methods.
Asda boss Roger Burnley said: “These are the most extraordinary of times and I am keenly aware of our responsibility to help feed the nation by keeping our shelves stocked and deliveries moving, but also by providing employment opportunities where we can and supporting our charity partners to help the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Last week, both the John Lewis Partnership, which opened a £1m fund to help local communities, and the Co-op, which said it was investigating ways to help, revealed their plans to assist consumers during the crisis.
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