Lidl have launched a new initiative that makes it easier for customers to make food bank donations alongside their usual grocery shopping.
The supermarket has announced between 12 November and 9 December, shoppers can give between 35p and £2.45 by scanning a flyer that represents essential food items, such as milk, tuna or cereal, while paying for their shopping.
It comes as the debate continues around the best way to tackle food poverty amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with footballer Marcus Rashford joining forces with supermarkets and food delivery companies to ensure children don’t go hungry over the school holidays.
Meanwhile, the number of families with children receiving emergency food parcels in the UK has almost doubled in a year, food banks report.
Lidl have launched a new initiative that makes it easier for customers to make food bank donations alongside their usual grocery shopping
Lidl revealed it had launched the new ‘Teaming up to Tackle Hunger’ scheme to make it easier for customers to donate directly to their local community.
Each flyer will represent a different essential food – including tuna, cereal, chopped tomatoes, milk and rice.
Donations will then be matched by Lidl and sent directly to the store’s local food partner.
The initiative forms part of Lidl’s ongoing partnership with Neighbourly, which has seen Lidl donate over 6 million meals to an existing network of 2,220 local charities.
The supermarket has announced between 12 November and 9 December, shoppers can give 35p and £2.45 by scanning a flyer that represents essential food items while paying for their shopping
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB commented: ‘It remains an extremely challenging time for families and communities across the UK, which is why we are making it easier for customers to donate directly to local good causes simply by picking up and scanning the donation flyers at the checkout.
‘Our hope is that by offering donation flyers in store that we can give our customers the chance to make a real difference and help those that need it the most. Now more than ever it is vital that we support communities in any way that we can.’
Steve Butterworth, CEO at Neighbourly, added: ‘We’re pleased to be able to support Lidl as they roll out this new initiative.
‘Since early 2020, requests for help from local charities and food banks have more than doubled, so it is really important that we can continue to support isolated and vulnerable members of the community with food and basic essentials.
Lidl had launched the new ‘Teaming up to Tackle Hunger’ scheme to make it easier for customers to donate directly to their local community (pictured, two of the flyers which shoppers can scan as they pay for their shopping)
After shoppers have donated using the essential food flyers, the retailer promised to match each donation
‘By scanning one of the donation flyers as part of their weekly shop, customers will be making a huge difference to someone in their community during what can be a tough time of year for many people.
It comes as Morrisons announced customers can now purchase a ‘pick-up pack’ filled with items for food banks after the scheme was rolled out nationally.
Priced between £1 and £5, the pre-packed bags are filled with items requested by local food banks and schools, including nutritionally balanced food and sanitary products.
Morrisons said it launched the bags as a way to ensure food banks, which are often overwhelmed with products such as pasta and bread, receive the items they actually need.
It also means shoppers don’t need to spend time browsing the shelves working out what to buy to donate.
Morrisons are offering ‘pick-up bags’ (pictured) for customers who want pre-packed items to donate to food banks
Sharing the news on Twitter, the supermarket wrote: ‘We’re making it easy for you to support too with family specific pick- up packs at the front of store, offering a nutritionally balanced mix of products which have been requested by local food banks and schools.’
Pick Up Packs, often found at the entrance to the supermarket, can be picked up by customers arriving to do their own shopping and are paid for at the till.
The packs are then placed in specially-designated trolleys and taking to the local food bank. Each Morrisons branch works with schools and food banks in its local area to ensure the products and items are targeted to what is most in demand.
The idea was initially suggested by Morrisons employee Michelle Leary who lives in Basingstoke. It has now been rolled out nationally after a local trial.
Morrisons revealed the initiative is in response to local food banks receiving an overwhelming amount of the same products. Pictured: An employee at Morrisons in Saint Ives
The charitable supermarket has also been praised for announcing that they will be donating 15,000 lunchboxes daily to schools and food banks, after the government faced pressure to provide children with free school meals during the half-term break
Last month, a motion to offer food aid to vulnerable families over school holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated in the House of Commons by 322 votes to 261.
The defeat sparked fierce backlash with Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, 22, who championed the campaign, calling on people to ‘unite’ to protect the most vulnerable children.
It was met with an outpouring of support, with supermarkets, businesses, cafes, pubs and restaurants coming forward to offer half-term food.
Families who can’t feed their children are turning to food banks in increasing numbers, with the Trussell Trust reporting its busiest month ever in April this year at the height of lockdown.
The charity’s food banks saw an 89% increase in emergency food parcels delivered across the UK compared with the same month in 2019.
An average of 700 parcels were handed out at each of their food banks in April 2020, compared with 369 in April 2019, the Trussell Trust said.
The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), which represents over 346 independent food banks, has also reported a 175% increase in need.
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