A Lampeter community group is helping to tackle food poverty by handing out free food, thanks to donations from Tesco.
Lampeter Food Project, based at Victoria Hall in Bryn Road, are currently providing food parcels and cooked meals to people in need across Lampeter, New Quay, Aberaeron and all the villages in-between.
While the group cannot run sit-down meals at the present time due to the coronavirus pandemic, they hope to return to these as soon as possible as they play a big role in tackling social isolation in the communities they support. The group also runs sessions designed to help local people grow their own food, craft sessions and cooking lessons.
Michelle Dearden and her colleagues receive the food through Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme, which is run in conjunction with food charity FareShare.
Michelle said: “Having the support of our local Tesco store is a real help to us and our local communities, and we actively promote the fact that we make use of surplus food as then people don’t feel like they are receiving charity.
“We are consistently feeding about 50 people a week at the moment, and I am sure that this will continue to grow as word gets out and people feel safe to leave their homes. None of this would be possible at the scale that has developed without the support of Tesco and FareShare, and it is pure pleasure to see the happiness in people and let them know that they are not alone.”
Claire De Silva, Tesco’s Head of Community, said: “We are proud to work with Lampeter Food Project, whose dedication to the community is amazing. They have already helped so many people, and we are so pleased to be working with them to assist even more people in need.”
Since launching in February 2016, Tesco’s Community Food Connection has donated surplus food to more than 7,000 local charities and community groups across the UK, and a total of 4 million meals in Wales alone.
The scheme pairs Tesco stores with local charities and community groups by alerting them to available unsold surplus food items via a mobile app. This food can then be collected by charities and supplied to people in need, ensuring that no good food goes to waste.
FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said: “The food that Tesco donates makes a really makes a big difference to local charities and communities across the UK.
“We are proud to have been able to work with Tesco over the past four years to create this pioneering scheme, which is the biggest of its kind in the UK. We hope that by celebrating this milestone with Tesco colleagues and customers, we can reach out to even more charities and community groups so that they can receive the free surplus food that Tesco is able to offer.”
Tesco is keen to hear from any charities that could benefit from this programme. Interested groups can get in touch with their local store or visit www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud to register.