A CHARITY’S biggest ever food drive is launched today, to help poor families in Hull and the East Riding.
FareShare in Hull says thousands of families are suffering the burden of debt in the city and can barely afford to put meals on the table.
Today, FareShare schemes across the country are teaming up with Tesco stores to appeal for donations of food.
It comes just two days after Hull was dubbed one of the most debt-ridden cities in the country, with 43 per cent of adults struggling to make ends meet.
JJ Tatten, of Goodwin Development Trust, which operates the city’s FareShare scheme, said: “We collect food at our warehouse in Sutton Fields, where it is then distributed to organisations across Hull.
“At one venue in the city, they had 46 people queuing for food one morning.
“That really brings home what we’re doing – it is shocking so many people in Hull are living like this.
“People are struggling with money, as the news this week shows, so it is also safe to assume that part of those debt problems include struggles to pay for food.”
FareShare in Hull distributes to about 80 organisations in the Hull and East Riding area from its warehouse.
It receives surplus food from top-name brands and supermarkets, including Jackson’s and Marks & Spencer.
There is nothing wrong with the food, but the companies sometimes have to throw out products with problems – such as incorrect barcodes, wrong labels or if a line has been discontinued.
If it was not donated to FareShare, it would probably end up in a landfill, as it cannot be sold in shops.
Mr Tatten said: “To help us with our drive, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday we’re doing a big drive at Tesco stores.
“There will be drop-off points at all Tesco stores, but we will have a team of volunteers giving out advice and leaflets at the stores in Hall Road, north Hull, Bridlington, Driffield, Withernsea and Market Weighton.
“Previous campaigns have shown three volunteers can raise half a tonne of food in a three-hour shift.
“That equates to 1,190 meals, so it does make a difference having volunteers at the stores.
“We need as many people as possible to donate non-perishable foods, such as tinned goods or dry pasta.”
To help raise the profile of the campaign, MPs Karl Turner and Diana Johnson will both be helping out at the Hall Road store in Hull today.
Mr Turner is a patron of FareShare Humber while Ms Johnson is the MP for the Hull North constituency.