Asda removes foodbank collection points from its stores
- Credit: PA
Norwich Foodbank has stressed the importance of supermarket donation points - as Asda confirms it has removed them from across its stores.
The supermarket giant said it had changed its national policy regarding permanent collection points at its UK stores.
Asda's announcement follows reports on social media that collection trolleys had disappeared from stores in Norwich, Newcastle and Scotland.
Hannah Worsley, project manager at Norwich Foodbank, said the service relied heavily on supermarket donations.
'I think quite a high proportion of what we do get in is from supermarkets,' she said. 'Collection points are very important.
'Demand [in Norwich] is still pretty high and in December we fed more than 1,000 people in total. That is the most we have fed in a single month since 2013.'
A spokesman for Asda told the Guardian that charities were still welcome in their stores.
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As part of Asda's review of charity collections, the company said an additional £2m would be 'invested into local good causes' via the charitable Asda Foundation.
MP Clive Lewis said: 'I am angry that one of our city's most used supermarkets has removed permanent collection points for food banks.
'For years, Norwich's Asda customers have freely and generously given so that some of their less fortunate fellow families can too have food on their tables.
'Now they are being denied that opportunity and because donations made at this supermarket chain often make up a high proportion of reliable local donations, food bank charities will be able to help fewer local people.
'If we're serious about tackling UK hunger, big businesses like Asda have a vital part to play - especially by paying their workers a real Living Wage. It doesn't say much for their intentions if they neither do that or allow their customers to help our city's neediest people.'