Kind-hearted supermarket shoppers have been digging deep to donate thousands of meals for some of Leeds’s most vulnerable residents.
More than 33,360 meals have been donated by Tesco customers across the city during the fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection.
During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals and tinned fruit and vegetables.
The food will be split evenly between FareShare and the Trussell Trust, which operates foodbanks across the city.
The latest boost comes just weeks after the Yorkshire Evening Post launched its Feed A Family campaign to support vulnerable families over the Christmas period.
Foodbank bosses have warned that the number of people in Leeds who will turn to them for emergency parcels will more than double this month.
David McAuley, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: “Last year in December alone over 100,000 people received three days’ food from Trussell Trust foodbanks, including over 30,000 children.
“This year, we’re seeing more people living on a financial knife edge where any small crisis can cause them to go hungry.
“Thanks to incredible public kindness, many people who would’ve been forced to make tough choices between eating and heating will receive emergency food this winter.
“Thousands of people who would’ve struggled to put any food on the table on Christmas Day will now receive festive hampers from Trussell Trust foodbanks.”
Foodbank volunteers are anticipating their busiest days yet – with around 3,000 vulnerable Leeds residents expected to fall into food poverty over the festive period.
And we are calling for an army of volunteers to give the gift of time and sign up to help their local foodbanks.
Karen Burgon, project manager for Leeds North Foodbank, said: “Little children think everything is going to be all right because Santa is going to bring stuff for them but actually Santa can’t do everything.”
She added: “There will be children who will wake up on Christmas morning to find something there - who might have a bare food cupboard - or if they have got food then they haven’t got something under the tree.”
COLLECTIONS TO HELP BOOST CITY’S FOODBANKS
East Leeds: Oxford Place Methodist Centre, on Mon and Thur, 2pm to 6.30pm.
North Leeds: Moor Allerton Methodist Church, Alderton Rise, on Mon, Wed and Fri from 11am to 1pm; or Lister Hill Baptist Church, Horsforth, 2pm to 4pm on Wed, 10am to noon Sat; Tesco, Roundhay Road, seven days a week.
South Leeds: St John and St Barnabas Church, Belle Isle Road, LS10 3DN, Wed 9.30am to 4pm; and Hunslet Methodist Church, Telford Terrace on Wed from 10am to noon.
West Leeds: Tesco in Bramley, all week; Morrish Solicitors in Pudsey, Mon to Fri office hours, and The Mill Kitchen, in Farsley, seven days.
Milk (UHT or powdered)
Fruit juice (carton)
Sponge Pudding (tinned)
Rice Pudding (tinned)
Tea bags/instant coffee
Instant Mashed potato