GENEROUS shoppers in Bournemouth have been thanked for donating nearly 12,000 meals to families in need during the festive period.

Tesco shoppers helped to donate more than 1.5 million meals’ worth of food to aid charities in their bid to feed people during Christmas.

During the twice-yearly Tesco Food Collection, which ran in stores from November 18-20, customers were asked to donate long-life food.

Stores reported that customers had given the highest volume of food donations to support local charities since the start of the pandemic, providing 1.57million meals during the campaign – with Bournemouth shoppers donating 11,894 meals.

Debbie Coombes, project manager at Bournemouth Foodbank, said the donations would help provide food to people facing impossible decisions this Christmas.

She said: “This emergency lifeline is only possible due to the incredible compassion and generosity of Tesco customers, including those in Bournemouth, during the Tesco Food Collection.

“Right now, people near you are making impossible decisions between staying warm or buying food, as food banks in our network face providing 7,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis every day this month.

“It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for the essentials, but we continue to be truly humbled by how much people are willing to give, so we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks.”

Claire de Silva, head of community at Tesco, added: “At this time more than ever, we are hugely grateful for the support of all our customers in Bournemouth who have donated in store for making this the biggest collection of long-life food in our stores since the start of the pandemic. We know this will make a really significant difference to local people this winter.”