Asda reinstates food bank collection points after backlash

Asda is reinstating unmanned food bank collection points in its stores after a backlash from customers.

Last week the supermarket made headlines after a review of policy prompted a ban on unmanned collection points in stores.

Following the story, an ‘overwhelming number of customers’ contacted Asda to raise the issue, with the upshot being that customers would prefer the flexibility offered by both manned and unmanned collection points.

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An Asda spokesperson said: “As a retailer who is committed to supporting our local communities we never intended to stop food banks or similar local charities collecting in our stores.

“We made some changes to our community programme around unmanned collections in the belief that this would benefit the many local good causes who collect in our stores.

“On this occasion our customers and colleagues have told us they understand our intentions, but prefer us to continue to give charities more options to maximise donations. We are therefore reinstating unmanned collection points.

“Asda plays an important role in the communities we serve and we look forward to continuing to support many more local charities and good causes.”

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The news will be welcomed by foodbank charities, who rely on donations from the public - and from organisations - to provide food for the less fortunate.

A spokesperson from the Trussell Trust said: "We are really pleased to see the Asda permanent foodbank collection points restored at stores across the country.

“Foodbanks right across the UK will benefit from this decision as these collection points provide an easy way for customers to donate to help people in crisis during their weekly shop. They also help to ensure that foodbanks have a consistent supply of food to give to people facing hunger in local communities. Asda customers have spoken and we are delighted that Asda have responded positively."

Foodbank use in Britain is at record levels. Figures from the Trussell Trust, who co-ordinate a UK-wide network of 400 foodbanks, show that they distributed 506,369 three-day emergency food packs between April and September last year, a rise from 492,641 the previous year.