Don Valley MP Caroline Flint MP joined staff and volunteers at Sainsbury’s Thorne, to support collection of food for the Million Meal Appeal.
The event, sponsored by Sainsbury’s and FareShare, is the UK’s biggest ever single-charity food collection, encouraging the supermarket’s customers to donate food items whilst doing their weekly shop to “help feed those in need”.
ABOVE RIGHT: Million Meal Appeal l to r Caroline Flint with Nathan Scholes and Rachel Minion, Sainsburys staff who volunteered their time to help the food drive.
Caroline Flint said: “The Million Meal Appeal comes at a vital time to help local families struggling with rising living costs and cuts to tax credits. The response today in Thorne was fantastic. By mid-day we had collected enough products for over 500 meals, and that will mean a lot to local people struggling to put food on the table.
“Six local charities support food drives in Doncaster and we know that demand is rising under this government. I am proud to support the Million Meal Appeal taking place at 900 Sainsburys stores. I urge others to visit www.fareshare.org.uk to see how they can help.”
Staff and volunteers greeted customers and encouraged them to buy an extra item of food from the Million Meal Appeal shopping list. Donations were collected as shoppers leave the store. FareShare will then deliver the donated food to over 700 charities and community projects, including six Doncaster charities, to help families in need. Sainsbury’s will match the level of food donations collected over the weekend.
The Million Meal Appeal comes as the economic crisis deepens and the rising costs of living hits households in Doncaster hard. Food prices rose by more than four per cent over the last year and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimate that around 5.8 million people in the UK struggle to afford everyday essentials like food.
Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary added: “More and more families are feeling the squeeze from higher food bills and struggling to make ends meet. It is a disgrace that even though we are the seventh richest country in the world we face an epidemic of hidden hunger, particularly in children. I hope shoppers in Thorne will support the Million Meal Appeal.”
The food collected will go to Doncaster charities providing food and support for hard-pressed families. The beneficiaries include DARTS, Doncaster Pathways, Wharf-House M25 and the Highfield Community Cafe.