Boycott as Asda halts foodbank support

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

Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 10:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 7:35 am
Photo Neil Cross Annette Smith of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank that has collected six tonnes of food in a week, enough for 10,000 meals.

The decision has led one Morecambe town councillor to boycott Asda.

Out Moss Lane 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.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.