Tesco stores across Torbay are holding a special summer food collection to support the Trussell Trust and FareShare charities as they respond to an increased demand for food in the wake of the pandemic.

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From August 20 to 22 customers can donate essential items of long-life food to the good causes.

Tesco will top up all customer donations with an additional 20 per cent donation in cash to the two charities.

The collection has been organised in direct response to the extra pressures on food banks and community groups supported by FareShare and the Trussell Trust during the Covid-19 pandemic.

FareShare has seen its highest-ever demand for food from the thousands of local charities and community groups it supports, while the Trussell Trust has seen need at food banks soar by more than 80 per cent.

Tesco director David Page said: “This is a really challenging time for the two charities because of the big rise in demand for food.

“Our customers have responded with incredible generosity to our food collections in the past, donating more than 39 million meals.

“There are a lot of people who need a helping hand at the moment and this appeal will make a real difference to them.”

The two food charities have already been aided by Tesco as part of a £30 million package of community support in response to the pandemic.

Emma Greenwood, Trussell Trust’s South West area manager, said: “Over the last few months, we’ve been truly humbled to see how much people are willing to give.

“In the coming months, more people than ever are likely to need a food bank.

“Every donation will help food banks provide the best emergency help to people referred at an uncertain time.”

Phoebe Ruxton, FareShare’s South West fundraising and communications manager, added: “Applications from charities and community groups needing vital food supplies have tripled since the start of the lockdown.

“The crisis is far from over and we are incredibly thankful to Tesco for running this emergency food collection, to ensure we can continue to support frontline charities helping to feed those who are most vulnerable.”