Help feed the neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood Food Collection is part of our ongoing effort to encourage customers to donate long-life food to charity.

The December 2016 collection contributed 3.4 million meals to people in need.

Since we ran our first collection in 2012, we have collected over 43 million meals.

Neighbourhood Food Collection

Who benefits

Our two charity partners – The Trussell Trust and FareShare – support a wide range of people in the UK who find themselves in desperate need of support. There are many reasons why people find themselves in this situation, from receiving an unexpected bill when on a low income to being alone and struggling to fight an addiction.

Here are some examples of the individuals and groups that the Neighbourhood Food Collection helps:

Charlotte's story

When college student Charlotte went to the food bank she had not eaten properly for weeks and could not afford the gas to heat her flat. After leaving state care she was determined to make something of her life and was funding herself through college. But although she found two evening jobs to make ends meet, she was made redundant from both within a month.

As a 21-year-old in full-time education with no children, she did not qualify for benefits. She sold everything she had and, with nowhere else to turn, she asked her local councillor for help; they referred her to the local Trussell Trust food bank. When she arrived she was ill, dehydrated and in the first stages of malnutrition.

For Charlotte, the Trussell Trust food bank was a life-saver. She says she has no idea what she would have done without it.

Suzanne's story

Mother of two Suzanne visited a Trussell Trust food bank after her family's finances plummeted. As a former housing officer, Suzanne had referred people to the food bank in the past and never expected to find herself needing its services to be able to feed the family.

Suzanne's husband suffered a nervous breakdown that meant he was unable to continue his job as a clinical nurse. Heavily pregnant, Suzanne was also unable to work – the family lost their home and were forced to declare themselves homeless. Later, when her husband was attending a back-to-work programme, a bureaucratic error meant that the family's benefits were halved, leaving them with just £50 a week to live on.

With finances stretched to breaking point Suzanne and her husband went without food to feed their children. The couple lost eight stone in weight between them and Suzanne had to stop breastfeeding because she was too malnourished. The food bank provided them with three days of vital emergency food.

The Factory Youth Zone

The Factory Youth Zone offers somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to outside of school and home for young people in Harpurhey, Manchester. Inside the purpose-built youth club, members aged 8 to 21 have access to advice, activities and healthy home cooked meals.

With high levels of childhood poverty in the local area, many of the club's members are vulnerable to poor educational attainment and future unemployment. The Factory Youth Zone aims to change that by raising their member's aspirations through mentoring programmes and supporting them on everything from bullying to employment.

The Factory Youth Zone's kitchen cooks up nutritious meals, in part made from the food donated at the Neighbourhood Food Collection. For most of the young people this will be their main evening meal. What's more, FareShare keeps costs down so that The Factory Youth Zone never has to charge more than £1 for a meal.

Our charity partners

We work with two charities who are helping to feed people in need in local communities around the UK.

the trussell trust Emergency food and support for people in crisis

Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days of emergency food to individuals and families in crisis. Frontline, professional agencies like the Citizen's Advice Bureau and children centres refer people who are facing a crisis to their local foodbank.

People visiting foodbanks are welcomed, listened to and signposted to other services that are able to provide further support, helping to break the cycle of poverty.

By donating food you can help support local people in crisis in a simple practical way.

Visit Trussell trust website
FareShare Fighting hunger, tackling food waste

FareShare is a UK-wide charity that redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste to charities and community groups, including homeless shelters, children's breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations turn the food into nutritious meals and provide life-changing support.

In the last year, 4,652 charities and community groups received 10,795 tons of food through FareShare, providing 22 million meals for people in need with an estimated value to the charity sector of £21.7 million.

Each charity saves on average £13,000 per year, which can be reinvested into other support services to help get people back on their feet.

Visit Fareshare website

Meals total

So far we have helped to raise an incredible 43 million meals for people in need. This includes customer donations as well as the 20% top-up from Tesco and food donated to our permanent collection points.


Thank you for all your continued support, the food we raise makes a big difference to people's lives

What we're doing

This is how Tesco supports the Neighbourhood Food Collection.

Food collections

We hold Neighbourhood Food Collections once a year with FareShare and The Trussell Trust. We also have permanent collection points in 600 of our stores across the UK, so that customers can donate food all year long. Furthermore, food banks can hold local collections throughout the year in our stores. During the food collections thousands of our colleagues take part in helping to collect and sort the food. We also deliver all the food collected for FareShare to their 20 regional depots.

20% top-up

Following each Neighbourhood Food Collection we top up our customers' donations by 20%, which helps both charities to feed even more people across the UK.

The Trussell Trust redistributes its top-up to food banks depending on how much food is collected at the food bank's partnered Tesco store. This money is then used to purchase items of food and day-to-day running costs. FareShare uses the top-up to invest in its delivery service, which helps provide food to even more people and charities across the UK.

Surplus food distribution

Tesco has recently partnered with FareShare along with Irish social enterprise FoodCloud to redistribute surplus food in our stores, directly to charities and community groups. Using the FareShare-FoodCloud app, our stores will alert charities to the amount of surplus food we have at the end of each day. The charity then confirms it wants the food, picks it up free of charge from our store and turns it into meals for those in need. Read more

This builds on the programme we've had in place since September 2012 to divert over 5,900 tonnes of surplus food from our online and fresh food distribution centres via FareShare to charities and community groups around the UK – enough to provide over 14 million meals. The food includes meat, chicken, fruit, vegetables and desserts.


Frequently asked questions about National Food Collection at Tesco

What is the Neighbourhood Food Collection?
The Neighbourhood food collection is held in all Tesco stores, in conjunction with The Trussell Trust and FareShare, to collect and redistribute food to people in need.
When is the next Neighbourhood Food Collection?

The next collection will take place in all our larger stores across the UK next December.

All the food will help feed people in need in the UK. Thank you for your generous donations.

How can I get involved in volunteering?

Volunteers provide essential support to the Neighbourhood Food Collection, such as helping to raise awareness with our customers and manage the donated food.

More details on how you can volunteer for the next collection will be released in October 2017.

What happens to the food that I donate?
Some of our stores collect for their local Trussell Trust foodbank while others collect for their regional FareShare depot, from where the food is redistributed to community groups and local charities. No matter where you donate, the food you give will help people in need.
Is there a way I can donate anytime?
Yes there is. We now have permanent food collection points in over 600 of our stores across the country. Find a permanent collection point near you.
What does Tesco do with its surplus food?

Firstly we try to minimise any waste by reducing to-clear foods close to their expiry date in store. Through our partnership with FareShare FoodCloud we are working on making surplus available directly to local charities, so it can be used to support people in need. Read more.

Since September 2012 we have also worked with FareShare to divert over 5,900 tonnes of surplus food from our online and fresh food distribution centres to charities and community groups around the UK - enough to provide over 14 million meals to people in need. The food includes meat, chicken, fruit, vegetable and desserts.

Does Tesco profit from the Neighbourhood Food Collection?
No we don't. By topping up all customer donations by 20% we ensure that we don't profit from any food bought by customers in our stores and then donated to one of our two partner charities. We also encourage thousands of colleagues to take part in collecting and sorting the food, and we deliver all the food collected for FareShare to their 20 regional depots. Furthermore, we pay for all of the marketing materials used to promote the Neighbourhood Food Collection.
How do you calculate the 20% top up?

The top-up is calculated using an average valuation of £1.68/kg for all food donated. This valuation is calculated by looking up the items that make up a standard food parcel (as handed out by the charity) and checking the prices of these items in Tesco's standard own-label range. The total weight of the box and total value of all the items inside are then used to reach the £1.68/kg valuation used. On the day of the collections, stores with Trussell Trust food banks will weigh all the food collected, calculate a total value (at £1.68/kg), of which 20% will be given by Tesco to the Trussell Trust. In stores that are collecting for FareShare, the food will be delivered back to FareShare's local depots, where the food will be weighed. The total weight collected will be used to calculate a total value (based on the £1.68/kg valuation), of which 20% will be given by Tesco to FareShare.

The meals total is based on an initial estimated weight of food collected, as we will not have the final weights until several weeks after the collection. We know that the average weight of a green tray of food is 11.1kg. From the estimated total of full trays given to us by each store across the UK we have then calculated the total weight using the 11.1 average. This has then given us a total weight for each store. The charities have provided us with a figure of 420g = 1 meal. We use this to calculate the meals total across the UK.

For example, the total estimated weight collected in one store equals 700kg. This is divided by 0.42 (the average weight of a meal) to give 1,667 meals. This is then be topped up by 20% to result in 2,167 meals.