TESCO stores across west Wales will be collecting food for food banks to help charities battling to ensure that everyone is able to access vital food this winter.

The Tesco Food Collection will take place at all of the supermarket chain’s stores across west Wales and the UK, with the chain urging those who are able to take part whether by donating or volunteering their time.

The supermarket has joined forces with food charities Trussell Trust and FareShare, with the three organisations urging volunteers to sign up to support the events in store.

Both charities are facing their busiest winter to date as more people are turning to them for support with the increasing cost-of-living crisis.

Trussell Trust has the largest foodbank network in the UK and is expecting to distribute more than one million emergency food parcels between December and February, with FareShare having a waiting list of more than 1,500 frontline charities who are seeking food to be able to distribute to the neediest in their communities.

Tesco is hoping that volunteers will staff the collection points and help to raise awareness of the impact that donations have on people who rely on these charities.

Emma Revie, Trussell Trust’s chief executive, said: “This winter is going to be the toughest yet for the food banks in our network as they will help approximately 600,000 people and provide an emergency parcel every eight seconds.

“The teams in our food banks are working tirelessly to ensure everyone receives the support they need but they cannot do it alone. By volunteering at the Tesco Winter Food Collection, you will not only be helping to gather much-needed donations to keep your local food bank going, you’ll also be making a real difference to families who cannot afford the essentials in your community.

“If you can spare a few hours to volunteer, then please do.”

FareShare’s chief executive George Wright said: “We anticipate need will keep rising as people continue to struggle to afford the essentials like food and heating this winter. Tesco’s support for FareShare throughout the cost-of-living crisis, and the last 11 years, has been unwavering, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support in helping drive more donations during what will be a difficult winter for many.

“Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the Tesco Food Collection each year. By giving up just three hours of your time, you can make a huge impact by helping more people understand the importance of donating food to FareShare during this increasingly difficult time.”

Claire De Silva, head of community at Tesco, added: “Every year our Winter Food Collection gets such an amazing response from our customers. We know that they give even more generously when we have volunteers in our store helping them to choose the right items that are needed so we would urge anyone who can to please sign up and help make a difference.”

People can sign up at www.fareshare.org.uk/foodcollection or at www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/tesco-food-collection/volunteer.