‘Everybody’s welcome’ – inside Muslim pantry helping to feed poorest families

Tesco is doing its bit to fight hunger at the heart of local communities across Britain this spring with its Buy One to Help A Child campaign.

Every time you buy fresh fruit and vegetables, in-store or at tesco.com between March 21 and April 3, the supermarket is pledging to make a donation to FareShare, the charity network it has partnered with for the past decade. This means you’ll be helping vulnerable children and families in your local area.

As the UK’s national network of charitable food distributors, FareShare ensures that good-quality surplus food from businesses, including Tesco, is passed on to more than 10,500 frontline charities and community groups. This results in two million nourishing meals every week going to people in communities across the UK.

The partnership between Tesco and FareShare has been ongoing for the past decade

Preston Muslim Cultural Center (PMCC) is one such grassroots charity, working to provide children and families in the community with fresh fruit, vegetables and groceries.

To do this, it operates Broadgate Food Pantry, which receives its produce courtesy of FareShare. The food it provides is available to anyone who needs it.

“What we offer is a food pantry for the public,” explains Arshad Dadabhoy, president of PMCC and founder of Broadgate Food Pantry. “We welcome everyone, whatever their background. The pandemic has affected so many people – working people as well as those on benefits and lower incomes.

“We offer food at a reduced price, so people have a bit more money for other day-to-day costs, while removing any stigma associated with using food banks.

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“We have also helped to provide food parcels to those on low incomes, and to refugees and asylum seekers. When people are behind on their rent and unable to feed themselves or their family, we give them the food they need.”

Thanks to a grant from FareShare that the charity received before Christmas 2020, PMCC was able to partner with the nearby St Stephen’s Church and C of E Primary School to initiate the Bags of Smiles programme, providing every family in the school with a big bag of grocery.

Broadgate Food Pantry receives its produce courtesy of FareShare

“This initiative had a huge impact on the school and brought the institutions together with the local community,” Arshad adds. “FareShare really helped us reach into the hearts of the community to address food poverty.”

The partnership between Tesco and FareShare has been ongoing for the past decade. FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell says Tesco’s donation will make a real difference to frontline charities working with children, and thanks Tesco customers for their support.

“The Buy One to Help A Child campaign makes such a difference to us at FareShare in Preston,” Lindsay says. “It helps us to support children and families from this area during the school holidays.

Tesco has been doing incredible community work in partnership with FareShare for 10 years now, and what better way to mark the anniversary than with the new Buy One to Help A Child campaign.

Tesco’s head of community, Claire de Silva, said, “FareShare does amazing work supporting frontline charities, and the food it distributes is making a real difference to families in every part of the UK.

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“Each time Tesco customers buy fresh fruit or veg until April 3, we’ll donate to FareShare, ensuring more children can enjoy nutritious food.”

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell CBE added: “The campaign makes such a difference in helping us to support children and families.”

“So many of the children that we provide food for would normally rely on free school meals during term time but they do not get access to this support during the holidays. Supporting the needs of children early in their life is very important to FareShare as we see what a difference access to healthy food can make in young people’s lives.

“In this, our 10th year of partnership with Tesco, we are very grateful for its ongoing commitment to help FareShare redistribute good-to-eat food to thousands of charities across the UK.”

To find out more visit tesco.com


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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