Sainsbury's Million Meal Appeal has broken records thanks to generous donations from Houghton and Sunderland South residents. Across Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, customers at Sainsbury’s Silksworth donated enough food to provide 1000 meals to help feed vulnerable people affected by food poverty in the UK. Sainsbury’s has also matched every meal donated by customers, so in total 2000 meals have been donated at Sainsbury’s Silksworth. The Million Meal Appeal is run with Sainsbury’s charity partner FareShare, a national charity dedicated to tackling hunger and food waste.
The first Million Meal Appeal was held in 2011 with 600 stores participating. Thanks to customers’ generosity and Sainsbury’s pledge to match meals, 1.2 million meals were donated to FareShare. Due to its success, this year’s appeal was run in over 900 stores. A massive two million meals have been donated in total this year, which includes matching from Sainsbury’s - that’s double the original target of 1 million meals.
Local volunteers, recruited by FareShare, leant a helping hand at the retailer’s Sainsbury’s Silksworth store over the weekend, along with Local MP of Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, who gave her backing to the appeal and met customers on Saturday 6 October.
Bridget Phillipson said: “It was great to see the generosity of Sainsbury’s Silksworth customers who made a donation to this fantastic initiative. Food poverty is still a major issue in this country and the ‘Million Meal Appeal’ helps to address the situation and tackle the issue head-on. Every donation is going to support charities and projects that need our help, so thank-you to everyone in Houghton and Sunderland South who donated over the weekend”.
The items collected, including tins, dried pasta, pasta sauce, rice, tea and instant coffee, are destined for local charities and projects in the surrounding community.
Sainsbury’s Head of Community Affairs, Andy White said: “Our customers have been telling us that they like giving in this way and it’s really apparent by their generosity despite difficult times. We’re delighted to match all the meals donated by our customers and it means that together we’re helping to provide two million meals to vulnerable members of our communities that need it the most.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell added: “The response to the Million Meal Appeal has been incredible. We’ll be able to combine the donated pasta, rice and tinned food with the short life surplus meat, fruit and vegetables that we receive daily from the food industry. It will make these surpluses go even further in a time of real need."