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Swansea charity given ‘vital lifeline’ thanks to food surplus scheme

A Swansea-based charity supporting people in need has received a “vital lifeline” thanks to Tesco’s Community Food Connection (CFC) scheme.

Faith in Families, which has three established family centres supporting disadvantaged communities across Swansea, has been supported in its work by donations of surplus food from Tesco stores in Swansea.

Leanne Evans, a manager at Teilo’s Community Cwtch, said: “The donations from Tesco truly help to keep the centre afloat. Last year alone, we supported 7,900 people who came to us for a helping hand. Because of this demand, budgets are tight, and if we can save money in any way, it really helps us allocate vital funding to where families need it most.”

Run in partnership with food charity Fareshare, the Tesco Community Food Connection initiative donates surplus food to local charities and community groups. Since launching in 2016, the scheme has seen nearly half a million meals donated to charities and community groups across the Swansea Bay area.

Organisations benefitting from CFC, such as Faith in Families, receive contributions such as eggs, bread, fruit and vegetables, which the group puts to use preparing meals for its café, cooking courses and food parcels.

The organisation provides parent and toddler sessions, a nursery play group, after-school clubs, holiday play schemes and adult courses. It also runs a community café, providing healthy breakfasts and a lunch club, which allow staff to reach out and support hundreds of people in the local area.

Leanne continued: “We are incredibly grateful for the support that we receive from Tesco through the Community Food Connection scheme and are thrilled with the partnership we built over the last couple of years.

“As a result of Tesco’s involvement in the scheme Teilo’s can now help 150 people per week. We sort the food donations into two groups, one which can be used at the centre and another which can go towards members of the community to help them out at home. We also top up the food pantry in the church so items can be put towards the food parcels we collect.

“Not only has the Community Food Connection scheme been a vital lifeline in saving money through the donations, it has also strengthened our partnership with our two local Tesco stores. We have a great relationship with the store’s Community Champions and they regularly volunteer with us, helping us run our food groups. Some days we don’t know what we would do without them!”

Donna Costa the Community Champion at Tesco Swansea Extra, said: “The work Teilo’s Community Cwtch carry out every week for people in need is nothing short of remarkable. In our time supporting the group, we’ve built a really strong relationship.

“We regularly go across to the site and support the staff with their breakfast and lunch clubs and play schemes for toddlers and young children. To see the impact on people first hand emphasises just how important services like Teilo’s Community Cwtch are to the community.”

Nicola Mackay, Community Food Programmes Manager for Tesco said: “We are always glad to see that the surplus food from our stores is making a real difference to the lives of people in need. The work being done by Teilo’s Community Cwtch is a great example of how good food that would otherwise have gone to waste can benefit people in the community.”