If you go to Tesco to shop between 29 November and 1 December then you are invited to put a little something extra in your own shopping trolley to then give to those in need.

More than 2,600 Tesco stores across the UK take part in the annual drive to give something to FareShare and The Trussell Trust. The something has to have a long shelf life and is then made up into emergency food parcels which are given to people referred to the charities.

FareShare distribute the food they receive to charities and community groups who then make it into meals for vulnerable groups.

One group that’s set to benefit from the donations is the Scottish Veterans Residences in the city, which supports people who have served in the Armed Forces in the UK who now have a housing need.

 Head Chef Malcolm Falconer
Photos Stewart Attwood

For head chef Malcolm Falconer, help from Tesco and FareShare has transformed the way he plans meals for residents.

He said: “The support we receive from Tesco and FareShare is invaluable. The donations give us so many more options and also allow us to use our kitchen budget much more effectively.

“We often receive items that residents would never normally buy for themselves. It really helps to keep things interesting at mealtimes.”

It is the eleventh collection to take place, and Tesco is topping up the value of the food donated by the public by 20%, providing additional funds to support the charities in their work this Christmas.

Volunteers in store will greet customers with a list of items most needed by the charities, with shoppers encouraged to pick up items to donate at the end of their shop.

More than 3.34 million meals were donated to the food charities by generous Tesco customers last year, and the supermarket is hoping that shoppers will be just as generous this time around.

Tesco UK & Ireland CEO Jason Tarry said: “Tesco Food Collection scheme is the UK’s biggest Christmas food collection, and at Tesco we are glad to be playing our part in helping people in need this Christmas.

“We know that the items that our customers donate can make a real difference to people who really need that little bit of extra help this year – whether it is a food parcel for someone at a time of crisis, or a hot meal which means that a vulnerable person does not feel lonely this Christmas.

“Once again we are topping up all the customer donations by a further 20%, and I’d encourage our customers to put something extra in their baskets to donate.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare said: “For charities doing their best to feed some of the most vulnerable over the Christmas period, these donations make a huge difference.

“What’s more, Tesco will top-up your donation by 20% which enables our charity to help more and more people in need.”

Emma Revie, Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust said: “Foodbanks across the country will be doing all they can to provide the best possible emergency support so people don’t go hungry – but to make sure we’re prepared for what could be our busiest December yet, our network needs your support.

“During every Food Collection we’ve been humbled by the staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, and as we look to the start of the collection, we would love to have your support once again. Your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas.”