FareShare and Trussell elbow aside Ruth Jones for Tesco Christmas ads

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Tesco has put its comic family featuring Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones into hibernation for Christmas, after it launched the first of five festive ads (above) with a move to raise money for food poverty charities.

The retailer said the TV star’s character Jo and her co-stars would appear in future ads but would not feature in any of its ads over Christmas.

Last year the family was at the heart of the supermarket giant’s Bring it On campaign.

The new campaign, which kicked off last night, began with the spotlight on its range of turkey, with the lineup including The Finest Narragansett turkey, which won the award for top Christmas turkey in the recent BBC Good Food awards.

Tesco said £1 from the sale of every fresh turkey in Tesco between 6 November and 25 December would be donated to FareShare and the Trussell Trust in equal proportions to help people in need this Christmas.

The campaign builds on its annual Food Collection and its food surplus redistribution scheme Community Food Connection, as well as Tesco’s sponsorship of The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not campaign.

Last year, Tesco became the first retailer to pledge that no food safe for human consumption would go to waste from its UK operations, and since 2012 Tesco customers and colleagues have donated the equivalent of over 60 million meals to people in need.

“This year, our campaign will celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas, and how food sits at the heart of it all. We want our customers to know that, however they choose to do Christmas, and no matter what they need, we can help,” said Tesco chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini.

“As part of our campaign this year, we’re delighted to work with our long-term charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust to donate £1 for every fresh turkey purchased to help feed people in need this Christmas - it’s another little help for our local communities at an important time of year.”

FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: “This generous initiative from Tesco is perfect timing - it means we can help 6,700 charities across the country to continue providing food and life-changing services to those in need this Christmas.”

The Trussell Trust operations manager Samantha Stapley added: “We’re seeing soaring demand at foodbanks across the UK and right now thousands of people will be worrying about whether they can afford any food for the family this Christmas. This generous donation from Tesco will help us to support our foodbank network and tackle hunger in communities across the country, so we can hope in the future to see fewer people needing foodbanks.”

● Are you #seriousaboutsurplus? Then sign our petition to get more edible surplus food to charity. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/204156

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