Morrisons has launched a new scheme to help food banks tackle shortages in the run-up to Christmas.
The supermarket has teamed up with The Trussell Trust after its research found two thirds more people are expected to need its help this year compared with last year and that a 61% increase in food parcels will be needed this winter as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19.
Morrisons said it had identified the items most needed in the run-up to Christmas as tinned fruit, long-life juice and cereal.
Also in need are tinned meat and fish, puddings, biscuits, cooking sauces, tea and coffee, toiletries and sanitary protection.
Morrisons Community Champions will be charged with introducing ‘Food Bank Priority Item’ signs in all stores, which will feature adjacent to products that are most needed by food banks in each local area, and be updated regularly.
Its customers will also be able to buy a festive version of Morrisons’ ’Pick Up Packs’ – pre-packed bags of specific groceries that food banks have advised will be most needed in their locality. They will include some Christmas items and cost up to £4.
The supermarket has also introduced toy donation stations where customers can donate a new toy. Donated items are passed on to local good causes and charities in the local community.
“We have worked with food banks across the UK to identify the key items that are most needed by the vulnerable in our communities,” said Rebecca Singleton, community director at Morrisons. “The UK’s food banks are a lifeline for many people and we want to make it easier for customers to donate so that no one is left behind this Christmas.”
The move is the latest by the supermarket amid growing concern about hunger at Christmas.
Earlier this month Tesco and Asda both launched major initiatives in support of the UK’s biggest food redistribution organisations, ahead of what charities have warned is a hunger crisis facing millions this winter.