On-shelf labels to remind shoppers of foodbanks

On-shelf labels reminding shoppers about items needed by food banks are to be introduced in a major supermarket after a trial saw donations triple.

Products like tinned meat, fish and fruit in all UK Sainsbury’s stores will be accompanied by signs from Monday.

The idea was pitched by a group of teenagers working on a social project who saw customers noticed food bank donation baskets only after finishing their shop.

The Help Brighten a Million Christmases campaign is also being introduced in Argos, with the aim of getting one million food and toy donations across the UK over Christmas.

Donations tripled following a trial at a store in Exeter, Sainsbury’s said.

Claudine Blamey, Sainsbury’s head of corporate responsibility and sustainability, said: “We are committed to making a positive difference in local communities and we hope our customers get on board to help brighten the lives of those less fortunate in the community.”

The group of 13 teenagers are part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) initiative, designed to encourage community and social cohesion among youths.

Food donation label team
Abdelkader Jemal Awol (l to r), Matthew Turner, Amber Broad, Isabel Clarkson, Callum Pardoe and Rhys Johnson with their “priority item” label (Neil Munns/PA)

NCS chief executive Michael Lynas said: “We couldn’t be more proud of this group of young people for the impact they’ve already made in their local community, and the even bigger impact their idea is set to have across the country.”

Mark Richardson, manager of Exeter food bank, said: “Teenagers these days often have an unfair reputation for being unengaged with the world around them, so it’s great to see young people being empowered by programmes like NCS to go out into their communities and make a difference.”

Items to be labelled include: tinned meat; tinned fish; tinned vegetables; tinned fruit; tinned soup; tinned baked beans; pasta sauces; pasta; rice; cooking oil; jams, spreads, preserves; instant coffee; tea; milk (UHT or powdered); fruit juice (long life).

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