Tesco to deliver £30m support package for local communities tackling virus

Supermarket giant Tesco has confirmed a £30mn package of support for local communities dealing with the coronavirus.

The company stated, 'We currently donate £3m of food every month through our Community Food Connection scheme and distribution centres.

'In addition to that, over the next 12 weeks we will provide a top up food donation of £15m of food (ambient and fresh) to FareShare and the Trussell Trust– food they need for distribution to community groups and food banks. We will also donate £1 million between the two organisations to support their continuing operations.

'We will focus £2m of funding from our existing Bags of Help community donation scheme to charities that are helping the most vulnerable.

'Building on our existing partnership with the British Red Cross, we are donating £2 million to help them continue their vital work, reaching some of the most vulnerable people in communities around the UK.

'Our stores have access to more than £1m of funding so they can support causes in their local area.'

Tesco Group CEO, Dave Lewis, commented, “Our stores are at the heart of the communities we serve and as well as supporting our customers and colleagues, we want to help those who need it most, locally.

'We will significantly boost our food donations programme, to ensure food banks and community groups have the supplies they need; whilst giving extra resources to the British Red Cross and focus our Bags of Help scheme to deliver more community support where it’s most needed at this difficult time.”

The group's Bags of Help COVID-19 Community Fund aims to support as many groups as possible across the country with grants of £500. This includes, but is not limited to, women’s refuges, food banks, hospices, homeless charities, social isolation groups, schools, charities supporting the elderly and local authorities. The application and payment process is simple to provide support quickly to these important causes.

Any groups that would benefit from this funding are encouraged to apply. The process is managed through Tesco's partner charity Groundwork’s website.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said, “As the coronavirus crisis continues, we are very thankful to our longstanding partner, Tesco for their generous support.

'We know that many of the frontline charities we work with are continuing to provide vital support in their communities, and so the combination of funding and unprecedented food donations from Tesco will allow us to ensure they have a consistent supply of food during this difficult time.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said, “We believe everyone should be able to afford their own food. That’s why we are so grateful to Tesco who will, as the pandemic develops, provide support to communities across the UK where we’re working closely with food banks, helping people who can’t afford essentials to get an emergency food parcel.”

Mike Adamson, chief executive of British Red Cross, said, “The world is facing an unprecedented global emergency and we are extremely thankful for Tesco’s generous donation which together will help us continue our vital work, putting kindness into action and supporting the most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.”