Asda removes food bank collection points
Asda's company policy changes across UK without notice
Asda has removed food bank collection points from all its UK stores.
The food bank collection points offered supermarket shoppers the chance to donate produce they had bought in store to local food bank charities.
Volunteers at a food bank collection point
According to research from the Guardian, in some cases Asda’s contributions accounted for up to 25% of charity donations.
The policy of removal was rolled out nationwide in January 2016 without prior announcement or consultation with local food bank groups.
In an interview with the Guardian, Amanda Bloomfield from the Gatehouse Food Bank in Bury St Edmunds said: “I was called to a meeting at the local Asda last Tuesday. I met the community representative and some management staff and was basically told that they had been to an Asda conference, and with immediate effect unmanned collections were no longer allowed".
“The food that had been donated up to that point was to be removed immediately, and there were to be no more collections. There was no reason given.”
Bloomfield said that about 15% of the food her organisation had distributed came from the Asda collection point.
“The management at Asda said there would now be a possibility of doing a food collection a couple of times a year in their main reception area...That would mean we would have to find volunteers to man the operation, whereas at the moment, volunteers only need to collect the food once a week.”
Asda say they will allow collection from stores at specific times and dates but those who run food banks say this will cause difficulties regarding the flow and amount of food and add an additional bureaucratic burden.
A petition has started on the 38 Degrees website asking Asda to re-instate the collection points. It has been signed by 65,000 people in less than 24hrs.
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