Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Food bank donations to ‘fall by a quarter’ as Asda pulls collection points

15:32 18 February 2016

Asda has removed food bank donation points from UK stores. L-R: Mike Smith, John Matthissen, Hazel Smith and Caroline Davies are pictured at the Stowmarket Food Bank.

Asda has removed food bank donation points from UK stores. L-R: Mike Smith, John Matthissen, Hazel Smith and Caroline Davies are pictured at the Stowmarket Food Bank.

Archant

Food bank volunteers fear donations could fall by as much as 25% after a supermarket chain decided to remove permanent collection points from its stores.

Stowmarket Food Bank said it faced increasing demand from people in need of essential supplies – but could lose between three and four tonnes of produce donated each year at Asda.

Bosses made the decision following a review of the firm’s community programme – as a result of which, they said more money would be invested into local causes through the Asda Foundation.

Although charity collections can still be made in stores, shoppers will no longer be able to leave food donations in unmanned trolleys.

Pastor Mike Smith, who runs Stowmarket Food Bank from Hillside Community Centre, said the news had completed a double blow, after last month’s announcement that another collection point would be lost with the closure of Morrisons in April.

He said: “It’s a double whammy for a cause that is as worthy as it’s ever been.

“They said charities would still be allowed to collect, but for the moment, we’ve received no permission allowing us to go in.

“Meanwhile, demand for services increases. We would normally expect to take out one tonne of food per month. In January, we delivered 1.9 tonnes.

“Our food goes out through referral agencies, so we know that everyone is in genuine need.”

Last week, Stowmarket Food Bank revealed that due to unprecedented demand, it was three weeks from having empty shelves. Mr Smith said food bank volunteers in Sudbury donated 240 kilos of goods to help replenish stocks.

“We were short of stock before this news broke,” he said. “We are resourceful, in that we have friends and will shake every tree in order to support the needs of the community.”

John Matthissen, Green party councillor for Mid Suffolk, worries the introduction of a single monthly payment for people on low income or out of work could see food bank demand increase.

“This is very disappointing news,” he said. “I cannot infer any good reason for it.

“The fact is, demand is not going down. If anything, with the universal credit system, there is less reason to think things are going to get better soon.

“The spirit of generosity is strong locally. This is obviously an ‘HQ’ decision, but I think there will be a head of steam and a national petition to cause a stink.”

Asda said food banks were still welcome to collect if volunteers are present to explain where donations go, which the firm claimed increases the amount of food given.

It said it was a leader in redistribution of food through its partnership with Fareshare and Company Shop.

A spokesman added: “Asda plays an important role in the communities we serve. We know we can make a huge difference to local charities, and our customers and colleagues are generous when it comes to supporting their local communities, which is why we try to make sure we host a variety of good causes in our stores.

“We’ve recently reviewed the Asda Community programme and are investing an extra £2m into local good causes through the Asda Foundation. We’re also introducing some new processes and guidelines to make it fair and consistent for all the great charities we support and to enable our Community Champions to make the best use of their time.”

1 comment

  • It is sad reflection that some Citizens in our once great country have to depend on such assistance mostly through no fault of their own. Britain is still the 5th richest country in the western world, however the gap between the richest and poorest is growing year on year. Yet we still continue to pour billions of pounds into the failed bureaucratic nightmare that is the EU receiving little in return. Time to cut our losses, pull out, cut the bureaucracy and red tape, focus on our own people, our economy and national governance.

    Report this comment

    Grey Fox

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Rescue teams co-ordinating the search for a missing kayaker off the Jaywick coastline. Picture: RNLI

A major sea rescue operation is under way at Clacton after a kayaker went missing on Sunday evening.

Elliott Thompson. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary.

A Stowmarket man has been reported missing to police.

Jousting at Framlingham Castle. Two magnificent knights on horseback clash in an epic battle of bravery and honour as Framlingham Castle hosts its first ever medieval joust.

Two knights on horseback clashed in a battle of bravery and honour as Framlingham Castle hosted its first medieval joust.

Brian Williams

Tributes have been paid to a Suffolk rugby stalwart who dedicated his time to promoting grassroots rugby in the region and across England.

Brightlingsea Regatta fun and games at Sunday afternoon
22/7/2016 Kallum Jagger

Thousands made a splash at the Brightlingsea Regatta this weekend, taking to the water in a range of motor boats.

BHS is closing down in Ipswich

BHS staff in Ipswich have still not been told when the store will close, the Star understands.

George Blagden in Versailles as  Louis XIV  (C) Canal +

He is television’s latest heart-throb, playing a starring role in the BBC’s steamy drama series Versailles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24