GENEROUS shoppers in Newton Abbot and the rest of Teignbridge are being asked to donate to the UK’s biggest food drive this weekend as charities warn of increasing need for food.

The 10th annual Tesco Food Collection, which takes place in every large Tesco store from  December 1 to 3, comes as charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare expect to provide food to 1.2 million people in the UK this winter.

During the collection, shoppers are being encouraged to donate long-life food items at their local Tesco store.

The donations will support food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network to provide emergency parcels to people in crisis and help FareShare supplement fresh food donations to thousands of frontline charities.

The items most needed by local food banks and charities will be highlighted in store, and shoppers at large stores will also be able to pick up pre-filled donation bags containing items that food banks and local charities have chosen.

During the collection Tesco customers can round up their bill at the till to make a small donation to the charities or donate Clubcard vouchers online, with Tesco matching their value.

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said: ‘Our customers have been incredibly generous during our decade-long partnership with the charities and have helped to donate more than 100 million meals’ worth of food to date.

‘This is going to be a difficult winter for food banks and charities and every can, packet or jar our customers donate to this weekend’s Tesco Food Collection will make a difference.

‘We will top up all those donations with 20% in cash to support the charities.’

Gene Joyner, CEO at FareShare South West, added: ‘Ten years on, the Tesco Food Collection has never been more important. The ongoing cost of living crisis has forced millions of people into food insecurity.

‘This event is crucial in helping to collect long-life food and we are immensely grateful to Tesco for their continued support which will help us to continue getting food where it is most needed. If you’re able to donate just one item at your local store, you’ll be helping to provide a meal for someone facing economic hardship this winter.

‘We are extremely grateful to Tesco for the invaluable support that they have provided to food banks across the UK over the last decade, said Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust. Tesco and its customers are the biggest single source of food donations for the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks but our partnership has also offered far more than just food.

‘Now, at a time when food banks in Teignbridge are facing a tsunami of need created by the soaring cost of living, the support of Tesco and their customers is appreciated now more than ever before.

‘We encourage anyone who is in a position to make a donation to visit a Tesco store across Teignbridge and take part in the Winter Collection, you’ll be helping keep food banks open.’