Tesco supports Basingstoke food bank with van donation
Families will now receive increased amounts of food more often thanks to Tesco donating a free delivery van to Basingstoke Community Food Link.
The ex-Tesco fleet van, which was previously used for home deliveries, is well-equipped to transport large amounts of donated food.
Basingstoke Community Food Link will now use it to collect and distribute food, as well as ensuring it all is kept fresh.
Noel Matthews, trustee of the Community Food Link, said: “We’re really grateful to Tesco for this kind donation. It really will make a difference to our community, enabling us to continue to serve the less well off in our community and ensure all food is kept at the correct temperature.”
Basingstoke Community Food Link regularly collects donated fresh food from Tesco. The food, which would otherwise go to waste, is then redistributed to local hubs for collection by residents.
The Community Food Link is supported by volunteers who sort the donated food items, including fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and dried food items, and then deliver them to community hubs around the town.
It has set up distribution hubs in churches and schools around Basingstoke where people can collect food. The distribution hubs also put together food boxes, particularly for pupil premium families nominated by local schools.
In addition, the charity is a beneficiary of Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme, run through the charity FareShare, meaning it regularly collects surplus food from the supermarket’s Basingstoke Superstore to help with its work.
Julie Shepherd, Community Champion at Tesco in Basingstoke, says the store will continue to support the Basingstoke Community Food Link long into the future.
She added: “We have worked with Basingstoke Community Food Link for some time through our Community Food Connection Scheme. The service they provide for our community is invaluable and, unfortunately, they are faced with ever-increasing demand.
“Because we know Noel and the team, when we heard there was a van available, they were the obvious choice and I’m delighted that we’re able to do this.”
With the pandemic placing additional pressure on families in Basingstoke, demand for food donations has spiked in recent years, with the charity anticipating that 2022 will be just as busy.
Jim Huskins, manager at the Basingstoke Tesco store, said: “It’s brilliant that we can support the community by donating food and equipment we no longer need, all of which is helping us to reach zero food waste.”
Basingstoke Community Food Link is currently seeking volunteers. Anyone looking to contribute to tackling food poverty in the community can email email@example.com