Sainsbury’s donates £3 million to fight food poverty this Christmas

  • Sainsbury’s launches its Nourish the Nation programme, a long-term aim to support communities with access to food now and in the future

  • Sainsbury’s will be donating £1.5 million to long-standing partner Comic Relief, FareShare and key redistribution partners to support communities this Christmas

  • Sainsbury’s is calling on customers who are able to donate to give what they can when shopping in store and online, with the retailer matching donations up to £1.5 million

  • Launching on 23 November, the money raised will help provide food and urgent support for those most affected by the rising cost of living

Sainsbury’s will donate £3 million to those in need as 13.7 million people in the UK struggle to afford to eat*; the money will be split evenly between supporting communities with access to food now and supporting projects that help prevent people and communities falling further into food poverty in the future.

In response to the rising cost of living, the retailer has launched Nourish the Nation, a long-term programme, working with longstanding charity partner Comic Relief, that will fund initiatives designed to tackle food insecurity and ensure communities have access to balanced, nutritional, and sustainable food sources now and in the future.

As part of the campaign, between 23 November and 24 December, Sainsbury’s is encouraging customers to donate if they can and has pledged to match donations up to £1.5 million, with this funding going to Comic Relief.

To support the Nourish the Nation programme, customers can make donations to Comic Relief in store and online at Sainsbury’s, and in store at Argos, or by donating Nectar points. The money raised will help people across the country, a £1 donation could help buy fruit and a healthy snack for a child and £5 could help feed a child for a day at a community hub during school holidays.*** Customers can also donate food at the food donation points in store which will go to local food charity partners.

This year, through its partnership with Comic Relief, Sainsbury’s is already supporting two organisations; Feeding Britain and The Bread and Butter Thing, in order to help alleviate food poverty in communities that need it most.

Feeding Britain works in partnership with local food networks to develop community-based projects which support families on low incomes before they reach crisis point and need to rely on food banks. This funding from Sainsbury’s will support four food clubs in Glasgow, Gateshead, London and Nottinghamshire. Each club aims to prevent hunger, reduce food waste and ultimately lift people out of poverty through a combination of affordable fresh ingredients for families to take home, cookery sessions, and wraparound support to maximise family incomes, manage debts and budgeting, and mitigate the rising cost of living.

The Bread and Butter Thing run more than 75 mobile food clubs, delivered in partnership with local community hubs, which provide people who are struggling financially with easy access to nutritious, quality and diverse food at an affordable price. They provide wraparound support to members such as debt advice, budgeting and employability skills. The Bread and Butter Thing helps members to connect with their community, which helps to tackle loneliness, improves confidence and builds a foundation for people to move out of food insecurity. With support from Sainsbury’s, The Bread and Butter Thing will widen its impact through expanding support in the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and the North West to ensure communities in some of the most deprived locations, have access to quality and sustainable food and support services.

In addition to this, Sainsbury’s is donating a further £1.5 million to key food distribution networks, with £500k going to longstanding partner FareShare through Comic Relief’s On the Breadline Winter cost-of-living Christmas appeal which will provide funding for the equivalent of 2 million meals to those living in food poverty across the UK.

Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “With more challenging months ahead, support for those facing food poverty has never been more critical. We know how difficult the rising cost of living is for so many communities across the country which is why we’ve launched our new community programme Nourish the Nation, to help ensure that everyone has access to the food they need right now, whilst also helping to prevent those who are most at risk from facing food insecurity in the future.
We are dedicated to supporting the communities we serve and through our large scale work with longstanding partners Comic Relief and FareShare, whilst supporting local projects with Feeding Britain and The Bread and Butter Thing, we hope we can go some way in providing relief to vulnerable communities up and down the country over the coming months and beyond.”

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “Right now, communities across the UK need our support more than ever as the rising cost of living pushes people beyond breaking point. Families are fearful of what winter may mean for them as they are already being forced into making impossible decisions. It’s never been so urgent to tackle food poverty and so we are grateful to be working with Sainsburys on this much needed new programme to get help to people struggling the most.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the generous support from Sainsbury’s through Comic Relief’s Cost of Living Appeal. Their donation will help us get more good-to-eat surplus food to people across the UK most impacted by the cost of living crisis. At a time when demand for our food has skyrocketed, this funding will make a huge difference to the people we support experiencing food poverty.”

Sainsbury’s has been an official partner of Comic Relief since 1999, raising over £153 million to support people in the UK and around the world. Through working together, Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief have been able to help more than 1.6 million people in the UK and 13mm worldwide.

Meanwhile, applications for the next round of its Helping Everyone Eat Better Community grants, which have so far received £338k of funding, open on 9th December. The grants offer money to local charities, nominated by each individual store, that tackle food poverty.

Sainsbury’s has now rolled out Neighbourly to its full store estate, where it connects stores to local good causes, with the aim of reducing food waste. To date, the Neighbourly partnership has donated 7 million meals.