People in and around Lewes who are unable to feed their families or heat their homes are receiving free supplies from Tesco stores thanks to the tireless work of the charity, King’s Church.
The charitable church provides free surplus food from local stores and makes it available to people to ensure that those who need it don’t go without.
King’s Church receives food as part of the Community Food Connection surplus food scheme, which involves Tesco stores and food surplus redistribution charity FareShare.
The Community Food Connection scheme ensures that surplus food from Tesco is given to charities and community groups whose volunteer members then distribute it to the public. Across the UK it redistributes 2 million meals each month.
Anna Scott, coordinator at King’s Church, said: “The scheme with Tesco and FareShare has been fantastic. They’re providing free high-quality food that many people wouldn’t be able to afford.
“The fact is, today there is less funding available for organisations like us, but there are more people who need support, and that number will keep growing. Many people are really struggling during the cost-of-living crisis through no fault of their own.
“We had one person who came here for the first time and broke down in tears before they came in. It broke my heart. We also have families who can’t always get to us because they can’t afford the bus fare.
“Often their electricity has been cut off because they can’t pay the bill, so they have no food and they sit there in the dark and cold, so the food and services we provide is lifesaving for some. What would they do otherwise?
“It’s a bleak situation, which is why we’re so grateful to Tesco and FareShare. Without them, we just couldn’t cope, because we need all the help we can get. The support they provide is invaluable, and it’s getting tougher for many people all the time.”
King’s Church uses the surplus food in its various charitable outlets, including the food bank, café, community pantry, and the hot-food lunchbox service for children and families during school holidays.
Claire De Silva, Tesco Head of Community, said: “Working with community groups such as King’s Church to help them get the food they need is such an important service for us to be able to provide. The dedication they have to their community is amazing, and we are pleased to do what we can to support.
“We firmly believe no good food should go to waste, which is why we began our Community Food Connection scheme. It enables us to ensure our surplus food is put to good use in communities.”
FareShare is the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste. Two-thirds of the organisations it provides food to support children and families.
Katie Sadler, Head of FareShare Go, said: “The food that Tesco redistributes through FareShare makes a huge difference to people facing food insecurity across the UK.
“We work with thousands of charities and community groups providing essential support to their communities, and receiving a steady stream of food helps them to feed the people who need it most.”
Charities and community groups that could benefit from the support of the Community Food Connection scheme can find further information at https://fareshare.org.uk/getting-food/