Tesco Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

We are so grateful that our continued work with Groundwork quickly enabled many people, charities and community groups to find a lifeline of vital support throughout the Covid19 crisis. To see how our support was received in such a positive way by so many thousands of individuals is incredible. The insight from this report will help to shape our thinking around how we can continue to really benefit local communities in the future.

Claire de Silva, Head of Local Community and Media, Tesco

Following the coronavirus lockdown, Tesco Bags of Help responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities. The fund provides a single payment award of £500 to organisations which are supporting vulnerable groups.

The fund was designed to support organisations that have experienced one of the following:

  • Increased demand such as a holiday hunger club needing more resources to support children through the summer months, or a food bank needing an immediate donation to restock.
  • Disrupted services for example a local charity adapting its local lunch club into a delivery service, or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
  • Need for new services like a  health focused charity requiring new IT equipment to set up a new online patient service, or a mental health charity developing a new service in response to new need.

The fund was developed and deployed rapidly to ensure it was there to help when groups needed it most, going live on 1 April 2020. Over 7,425 applications have been received and more than 4,864 community groups have been approved for funding.

One family who has come into our refuge in Boston is a Mum who has physical disability and is also intolerant of both lactose and gluten. Her young daughter has learning and physical disabilities and is also lactose and gluten intolerant. Through the Tesco grant we have been able to make sure they can have foods that fit in with their special dietary needs, something which they were unable to do prior to coming into refuge as the perpetrator would not permit it. This family is now thriving, starting to recover, the young girl is engaging more with home learning supported by our Child Support team.

Boston Women’s Aid

Many of the grantees were applying for money to meet the immediate needs of households in crisis and 40% mentioned food in their project description.

Some of the organisations applying for food related grants were doing so to expand their existing activities and meet rising demand in their communities. For example, Ludlow Food Bank has seen a rise in reasons for requesting food linked to Covid-19, including problems with benefits, financial difficulties, health issues and homelessness. Both April and May 2020 broke their previous record for the number of food parcels distributed in a single month.

Every Little Helps

Since our partnership with Tesco began in 2015 Tesco Bags of Help has:

Invested over£80 millioninto communities

Invested over
£80 million
into communities

Supported more than27,000community groups

Supported more than
community groups

During the Covid-19 lockdown nearly5,000emergency grants awarded

During the Covid-19 lockdown nearly
emergency grants awarded