Volunteers from a north-east foodbank are at an Aberdeen supermarket today in an attempt to boost donations.
Christmas is supposed to be a season for joy and celebration, but for millions of families it is one of the toughest times of the year as they struggle to put food on the table and heat their homes.
Aberdeen North Foodbank is asking shoppers to support people in their communities this festive period by donating to Tesco’s annual winter food collection.
A team will be at Tesco Danestone today and tomorrow to spread the word, and encourage shoppers to pick up items for the foodbank as they tick off their own list.
Customers are being asked to donate essential items of long-life food such as tinned meat, tinned fish, UHT (long life) milk and biscuits.
Special donation trollies will be placed at the doors to the stores.
Thousands rely on foodbanks over winter
The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks across the country, expects to distribute more than 7,000 emergency food parcels this winter.
Tesco has committed to adding a 20% financial donation to the worth of their customers’ food donations.
Aberdeen North Foodbank will then use that cash to provide emergency food parcels and practical support.
Manager Matthew McArthur said: “For many people, the winter period can be extremely challenging with many families struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table.
“Last year, we provided 1,676 emergency food parcels to people in crisis, but we know it doesn’t have to be like this.”
The number of people relying on foodbanks to survive has grown each year – which is why the Press and Journal, Evening Express and Original 106 have teamed up to tackle food poverty this Christmas.
The Big Christmas Food Appeal aims to raise awareness of the plight people across Grampian and the Highlands face every week while encouraging readers to do what they can to help.
Mr McArthur said Aberdeen North Foodbank will be working alongside other groups in the Trussell Trust network to achieve long-term change.
Working towards long-term change
“No one in Aberdeen should be facing hunger,” he said. “We want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all.
“We’re determined to work alongside other food banks in the Trussell Trust network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the Christmas season, but at any time of year.
The Tesco food collection will take place in every Tesco store in the UK and is the biggest collection of its kind.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Christmas is supposed to be a season of joy and celebration – but for millions of families it can also be a particularly tough time of year as they struggle to cover the basic costs of living such as heating, bills, food and other essentials.”