Asda boycott over food bank snub

Angry: Morecambe Bay  Foodbank project manager Annette Smith

Angry: Morecambe Bay Foodbank project manager Annette Smith

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SUPERMARKET giant Asda is withdrawing food bank collection points from all of its stores unless volunteers are on hand to explain where donations are going.

The decision has led one Lancashire town councillor to boycott the supermarket.

We are going to have make up the shortfall somewhere and it has to be convenient

Morecambe councillor Josh Brandwood said: “I am officially boycotting Asda due to their recent decision to withdraw food bank points from their stores.

“I find it incredibly despicable that this company is also responsible for one of the highest rate of food wastage in the UK.”

Annette Smith, project manager of Morecambe Bay Foodbank, said: “In the three years working with Asda, we have collected 10 tonnes of food, food donated through the generosity of Asda customers. This will have quite an impact on the donations we receive and how we distribute them.

“We are going to have make up the shortfall somewhere and it has to be convenient.”

The Trussell Trust, which runs Morecambe Bay Foodbank, said: “The Trussell Trust doesn’t have a national relationship with Asda at the moment. But we’d really like to engage with them to find out more about this decision and to see if we can find a way to ensure that Asda shoppers are able to donate food to foodbanks easily.”

Asda has said it will now concentrate on its Community Champions programme to help a variety of good causes.

A spokesman for Asda said: “We’ve recently reviewed the Asda community programme and are investing an extra £2m into local good causes through the Asda Foundation. Food banks are very welcome to collect donations in Asda if volunteers are on hand to explain to customers where their donations are going, which we know increases the amount of food donated. We look forward to continuing to support them and local food banks in the future.”

Ethical Consumer has compiled a ranking of each of the UK’s biggest chains based on their environmental efficiency, animal rights workers’ rights, product sustainability and financial practices.

It says Asda is the least ethical, followed by Lidl and Iceland. Co-op was named as the most ethical.

Asda said it worked with charity Fareshare to redistribute waste food.