Philip Dunne has thrown his support behind a nationwide food collection to help people who find themselves in need this Christmas.
From Thursday, November 30 to Saturday, December 2, more than 2,600 Tesco stores across the UK are taking part in the annual Food Collection, which encourages shoppers to donate long-life foods to help charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust's foodbank network to give food and support to people who might otherwise go hungry this Christmas.
Philip visited the Tesco store in Ludlow to support the appeal, which last year collected 3.6 million meals for people in need.
The food donated to foodbanks in The Trussell Trust's network is given in emergency food parcels to people referred because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. Food donated to FareShare is distributed to charities and community groups who use it to provide meals for vulnerable groups such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.
More than 43 million meals have been donated to the food charities by generous Tesco customers since the scheme began, and the supermarket is hoping that shoppers will be just as generous this year.
Mr Dunne said: "At this time of year it's good to help others in need, so I encourage shoppers to take part in this year's Food Collection as it will make a real difference to people in need of food this Christmas. Food banks in the Ludlow constituency are well supported by volunteers who do a marvellous job helping others."
Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare said: "If you're heading down to your local Tesco in Ludlow this weeks please do remember to donate a can or packet to the food collection at the front of the store."
"For charities doing their best to feed some of the most vulnerable over the Christmas period, these donations make a huge difference.
Samantha Stapley, Operations Manager for The Trussell Trust said: "Trussell Trust foodbanks across the country will be doing all they can to provide emergency support so people don't go hungry - but to make sure we're prepared for what could be our busiest December yet, our network needs your support.
"During every Food Collection we've been humbled by the staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, and as we look to the start of the tenth collection, we would love to have your support once again. Your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas."