TESCO has announced a £30 million package of food and cash support for communities during the coronavirus emergency, with money going to food banks and charities that support vulnerable including the British Red Cross.

The supermarket giant currently donates £3 million of food every month through its Community Food Connection scheme and distribution centres.

In addition to that, over the next 12 weeks it will provide a top-up food donation of £15m of food – ambient and fresh – to FareShare and the Trussell Trust– for distribution to community groups and food banks. It will also donate a total of £1m to the two organisations.

Tesco said it will focus £2m of funding from its existing Bags of Help community donation scheme to charities that are helping the most vulnerable.

Building on its existing partnership with the British Red Cross, it will donate £2m to the charity to help with the extra costs it faces in supporting people in need.

Tesco Group CEO Dave Lewis said: “Our stores are at the heart of the communities we serve and as well as supporting our customers and colleagues, we want to help those who need it most, locally.

“We will significantly boost our food donations programme, to ensure food banks and community groups have the supplies they need, while giving extra resources to the British Red Cross and focusing our Bags of Help scheme to deliver more community support where it’s most needed at this difficult time.”

Tesco says its Bags of Help Covid-19 Community Fund aims to support as many groups as possible across the country with grants of £500.

This includes, but is not limited to, women’s refuges, food banks, hospices, homeless charities, social isolation groups, schools, charities supporting the elderly and local authorities.

It says the application and payment process is simple to provide support quickly to important causes. Any groups that would benefit from funding are encouraged to apply here through our partner charity Groundwork’s website at www.tescobagsofhelp.org.uk.