Waitrose store front

Waitrose has also updated food collection points in every store

Waitrose is looking to make it easier for its customers to donate groceries to those in need.

Pre-filled food bank donation bags have been made available at 31 stores, as part of a wider revamp of its long-running charitable partnership with food poverty charities including The Trussell Trust.

The bags, which are pre-filled with Waitrose groceries, can be purchased by a customer during their shop and deposited in the in-store food collection bin, to be donated to a local food bank.

The grocer has also updated food collection points in every store and has updated signs on shelves informing customers about the items most sought after in food banks, it said.

“It’s vital that we do everything we can to help those in our communities who may be in need during the festive season”, said Lindsey Crompton, Waitrose’s sustainability and ethics lead. “And every year, we’re humbled and filled with gratitude at the generosity from our customers.”

The announcement came alongside figures released by the John Lewis Partnership that show Waitrose customers donated more than 934,000kg of food during 2022. This is an increase on last year, Waitrose said, a reflection of the growing awareness of the cost of living crisis among consumers.

In 2022, the grocer provided four million plastic bags to food banks and made a £200,000 donation to the Trussell Trust to be put towards the charity’s financial inclusion grants support scheme, Waitrose said.

Pre-filled bags are available in the following 31 stores:

Allington Park, Aylesbury, Brent Cross, Cheltenham, Chester, Colchester, Cowbridge, Daventry, East Cowes, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Ely, Faringdon, Finchley, Goldsworth Park, Great Malvern, Harrow Weald, Havant, Horsham, Keynsham, Knutsford, Lincoln, Mill Hill, Monmouth, Poundbury, Reading, Rushden, Sandbach, Sheffield, Southend-on-Sea and Worthing.