Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson is encouraging residents to help tackle food poverty this October by taking part in a nationwide food-drive run by Sainsbury’s and FareShare, the national charity tackling hunger across the UK.

The second annual Million Meal Appeal will take place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October and Bridget will be at the retailer’s Silksworth store on Saturday 6th October at 11.00 a.m. to greet customers and help support this unique food drive which will benefit more than 700 charities and projects across the UK.

Last year’s ‘Million Meal Appeal’, which took place on Saturday 26th November, was a huge success and involved 600 Sainsbury’s stores including Silksworth. Thanks to customers’ generosity, together with Sainsbury’s pledge to match donations, FareShare could deliver food for over 1.2 million meals to 700 charities and community projects it supports.

This year’s appeal will see over 900 stores involved in the two-day food-drive to help 720 charities and community projects which FareShare supports. Customers will again be able to choose to donate an item from the Million Meal Appeal shopping list which consists of long-life products including tinned goods, dried pasta, pasta sauce, rice, tea and instant coffee. The items are purchased as normal and then placed in the collection box after checkout. Customers shopping on Sainsbury’s Online can also choose to make a £1 donation between 3rd and 9th October.

Commenting in support of the ‘Million Meal Appeal’, Bridget Phillipson said:

“I’m really proud to be supporting the second-ever ‘Million Meal Appeal’ with Sainsbury’s and FareShare.

“I know last year’s appeal at the Silksworth store was a great success and highlighted the generosity of Houghton & Sunderland South residents and how by working together, we can tackle food poverty in this country.

“I hope that Sainsbury’s customers can join me in getting behind the appeal and add an extra item to their shopping on the 6th or 7th October in support of this very worthwhile initiative”.

Sainsbury’s Community Affairs Manager Andy White said:

“We had such an overwhelming response from our customers to last year’s initiative and we’re excited to be working with FareShare on the second ‘Million Meal Appeal’.

The total of 1.2 million meals donated in 2011 would be enough to feed a sold-out London Olympic stadium 15 times! We hope from this year’s campaign that we can further raise the awareness of food poverty in the UK and support those charities and projects that need our help”.

Assisting Bridget in the food drive will be local volunteers who are currently being recruited by FareShare. Potential volunteers are encouraged to visit www.fareshare.org.uk with their family and friends to register. Participants will be able to choose their preferred Sainsbury’s store to volunteer at and have the choice of a morning or afternoon shift.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO, FareShare, added:

“The Million Meal Appeal has come at a crucial time. Around 5.8 million people live in deep poverty in the UK, meaning they struggle to afford everyday essentials like food.

“I hope many Sainsbury’s Silksworth customers can support the Appeal and help us to provide even more food to the charities and community projects we support across the country”.

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