Shoppers respond to food collection call

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The third Neighbourhood Food Collection organised by Tesco in the North-east has been hailed a success.

From Thursday to Saturday last week, stores invited shoppers to donate items from their weekly groceries to help those in their communities who are struggling to afford to eat.

Volunteers from the Aberdeenshire North centre took part in collections at stores in Ellon, Inverurie and Huntly and looked for people to help them hand out shopping lists to customers and to pack and sort donations.

North East SNP MSP Christian Allard visited the Tesco store in Ellon and met and assisted volunteers in asking shoppers to donate some food for the local Ellon foodbank.

Mr Allard said: “It was a privilege to be part of an event that is helping those most in need across the region.

“It was excellent to see people so willing to offer donations – both big and small – which were all greatly appreciated by the volunteers.

“Foodbanks are incredibly important in assisting families but they should not be necessary, especially in prosperous areas like the North-east.

“I know the volunteers and staff at charities such as the Trussell Trust do a tremendous job and this is a fantastic opportunity to support their efforts.

“I’d like to thank everyone that came along, whether to volunteer or to donate. All of their contributions will make a huge difference to people across the North-east.”

According to the Trussell Trust, the number of people who used Scots foodbanks between April 1, 2013, and March 31 this year rose to 71,428 compared to 14,332 people in the same period from 2012 to 2013 – an increase of 400%.

The charity cites benefit changes by Westminster, delays to welfare payments and low income as the main reasons behind people seeking support from local foodbanks.