German supermarket Aldi has announced that it intends to give away it’s leftover food from their 520 stores to various charities and food banks on Christmas Eve. The Supermarket has stated that all food will be at least one day in date and include fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, bakery products, chilled goods, ready meals, dairy and desserts and will be given out after the shops close at 4 pm on Christmas Eve.
They have asked for any interested groups to contact their head office to arrange collection as they are unable to provide delivery.
Adli has stated:
“As our stores will shut at 4 pm on Christmas Eve until the 27th of December, we will have a variety of good quality surplus food products that we wish to redistribute in support of less fortunate individuals and to prevent food going to waste.
“We are unfortunately unable to deliver products on locally, so it would be essential that your organisation is able to collect.
“We will expect the levels of food available to vary, however estimations of around 20-30 crates will be expected from each store.
“If you wish to collect all products available, we would therefore recommend providing a large car or van, or being prepared to make multiple journeys.
“However you are more than welcome to take as much of the products offered as you can use – you are not required to take all products.
“We would also ask to ensure that you bring appropriate collection containers (bags, crates, boxes, etc.) as we will only have a limited number of cardboard boxes potentially available for use.”
This move will likely be warmly received by food banks across the country as many are almost at crisis point. With the number of people using food banks in the UK having risen by seven percent in just the last year according to The Trussell Trust’s Food Network, an anti-poverty charity, that runs more than 420 food banks, they predict it may increase over the holiday season due to the roll-out of the government’s Universal Credit system that is due to continue to be rolled out over Christmas and the New year.
Universal Credits have an estimated six-week delay, although many have reported this to be much higher due to a series of management failures, expensive IT blunders, and design faults. It has also been reported that the Universal Credit helpline will be shut for most of Christmas despite charities and the Labour party warning that the delays are leaving people facing hunger and eviction.
Further reasons people tend to be worse off around this time of the year include increases in bills and children being home from schools. Pensioners are also badly off at winter, with 200 pensioners dying every day due to cold-related illness as many can not afford to heat their homes.
“Christmas can be such a tough time for people. Not only do many of our clients have to choose between either heating their homes or putting food on the table, but there can be added pressure on social isolation around this time of year. It’s therefore always heart-warming to see how the local community comes together to support each other by volunteering and donating.”
Said Lucy Duffy, Foodbank Manager for The Trussell Trust
With the UK being one of the largest economies in the world and also one of the richest it is important to ask why our most vulnerable citizens are being forced to rely on corporate goodwill to eat over what is expected to be one of the coldest winters in living memory while them MPs that allow and encourage this are making over £74,962 plus thousands of expenses.