MORE than 72,000 meals have been donated to those in need across Stratford district.
Over the past five years Tesco has collected its surplus food which is then donated to food redistribution charity FareShare.
The scheme works by pairing charities and community groups with their local Tesco store.
At the end of each day a store employee works out which food is likely to be unsold and then uses a app to tell a local charity or community group what food can be collected.
Among the groups that receives donated food from the scheme is Stratford Foodbank.
Manager Marion Homer said: “Fortunately we’re seeing a lot more grassroots organisations stepping in to help support vulnerable people during this time and we’re continuing to receive plenty of customer donations.
“However, while we haven’t been as badly affected by the lockdown as many food banks, we’ve still seen a 15 per cent increase in demand. Without these donations from Tesco, we’d struggle to help everyone who needs it.
“Our profile of caller has changed noticeably, going from people with mental illnesses and learning difficulties to mainly people who had lost their job or been furloughed.”