SHOPPERS in Bournemouth are being encouraged to donate to the Tesco Food Collection as it supports people in crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic this Christmas.

The food collection, which supports the Trussell Trust and FareShare, takes place every year in Bournemouth but this year's collection is extremely important.

It comes as Trussell Trust food banks and community groups that receive food from Fareshare face an unprecedented need for supplies.

The Trussell Trust’s network of food banks is expected to give out six emergency food parcels to people in crisis every minute this winter.

FareShare CEO, Lindsay Boswell said: "The Tesco Food Collection is absolutely vital this year. The effects of the pandemic are being felt far and wide, with more people than ever turning to their local charities and community groups for help because they’re unable to feed themselves and their families.

"Demand for food from FareShare has more than doubled over the last few months, so if you are able to donate just one item it will go such a long way in helping us support the thousands of people in need across the UK."

Last year, shoppers donated more than three million meals’ worth of food during the collection.

Tesco will once again be topping up the value of donations with an additional 20 per cent in cash.

Tesco’s Head of Community, Claire De Silva said: "Every year, Tesco customers in Bournemouth are incredibly generous. But this year is not a normal year, and the two charities we work with need to provide more food than ever this Christmas.

"A single tin of tuna or vegetables may not seem like much to give, but if enough people make a small donation, then together those donations can make a really big difference to people who need our help this winter.

"Tesco will top up the value of every tin, packet or carton given, helping food banks to keep the lights on this Christmas and FareShare vans to deliver food to people who really need it."

Food donated to FareShare helps some of the 11,000 charities and community groups that use the charity to provide meals for vulnerable groups, such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.

The collection launches in Tesco Express stores on Monday, November 16 and in large stores from Thursday, November 19.

Customers have until the evening of Saturday, November 21 to donate long-life food in stores.