Food delivery platform Deliveroo has partnered with national food bank organisation The Trussell Trust to launch a new mobile food collection service ahead of Christmas.
The ‘Collecteroo’ initiative aims to help The Trussell Trust provide more emergency food parcels to those in need, as rising inflation continues to affect what staple goods vulnerable communities can afford to buy.
Electronically powered Collecteroo vans will drive around neighbourhoods in five major cities across the UK where the scheme is being trialled: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff.
Donations of unopened and in-date food items will be collected from people’s homes in these areas and dropped off at nearby Trussell Trust food banks.
Goods encouraged for donation include tinned fruit and tomatoes, pasta sauces, soups, meats and fish, sponge or rice puddings, tea or coffee, and long-life juices.
The launch comes in light of new research commissioned by Deliveroo, which revealed around 74% of people across the UK have unopened food items at home they would happily donate to food banks.
Will Shu, Deliveroo CEO, said: “Our partnership with the Trussell Trust has already provided over one million meals to food banks and communities across the country, thanks to generous Deliveroo customers in the UK who have donated so far.
“Now, working closely with [the charity], we are making it easier for people to donate food by connecting local residents to local food banks. Together with our consumers, we are committed to helping to tackle hunger across the UK.“
Former professional boxer Nicola Adams has been selected as an ambassador for the campaign. “[Food banks] do an incredible job at helping people facing hardship, and now, more than ever, it is vital that people who can donate, offer their support, where possible”, she said in a statement.
Both Deliveroo and the Trussell Trust hope Collecteroo will make it easier for more people to donate, such as those who are physically unable to get to a supermarket donation point.
Anyone wanting to donate items through the scheme will have until 28 November 2022 to register their interest online.
Demand for food donations is at an all-time-high. Recent Trussell Trust figures show that 1.3 million emergency parcels were given to people in crisis between April and September – the highest number of donations on record for the organisation. From this sum, almost half a million parcels went to children, it says.
Some 320,000 people are new users of food banks, with one in five referrals to Trussell Trust food banks being from working households.
In a recent statement, the charity stressed that food banks and staff are reaching ‘breaking point’, physically and mentally, as they are predicted to give out more than 7,000 emergency food parcels a day over the next six months.
Trussell Trust’s Chief Executive, Emma Revie commented on what support is needed from the Government to alleviate the pressure: “People are struggling to afford the essentials and we are expecting that this winter will be the hardest yet for food banks and the people they support. This is not right.
“We are calling for the Prime Minister to act decisively in next week’s budget”, she added. “We urge the UK government to realise their commitment of supporting people on the lowest income with a broad package of support. As well as ensuring that benefits rise with inflation as soon as possible, this must go further to close the gap between price rises and incomes over the winter.”
Around 2 million children are going hungry in the UK today and food banks are seeing a reduction in donations. Find out what the food industry can do to to alleviate these pressures in this Food Matters Live Podcast episode: