Sainsbury’s to label ‘food bank friendly’ products
Retailer found that donations trebled during trial scheme
Sainsbury’s is to become the first UK supermarket to label products suitable for donation to food banks, in a bid to encourage shoppers to give to those in need.
From today, all Sainsbury’s stores will be introducing new shelf signs below items such as tinned food, pasta and tea bags, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The scheme is the brainchild of a group of Exeter teenagers enrolled on a National Citizen Service summer programme, who noticed that food bank collection points in supermarkets were often placed so that customers only noticed them after finishing their shopping.
The group then pitched the idea of shelf labels to highlight the most-needed products to a local Sainsbury’s store, which agreed to trial the scheme.
Since the notices went up, in-store food bank donations have trebled, prompting the retail giant to roll out the system nationwide to its 1,400 stores.
Food banks across the country “are preparing for a big rise in demand when universal credit is rolled out by calling for more donations and volunteers, and stockpiling essential supplies”, The Guardian reports.
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.”
Although the intention behind the scheme has received a positive reception on social media, some expressed discomfort that the use of food banks had become “normalised” in the UK.
The labels are part of a wider campaign called Help Brighten a Million Christmases, which, with the help of Sainsbury’s subsidiary Argos, aims to rack up one million food and toy donations for UK families in need before Christmas.