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'This item is currently needed' - Norwich Foodbank launch labels on Sainsbury's shelves

PUBLISHED: 11:33 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:33 05 July 2019

Rhosyn Almond, a PhD student at UEA, who helped get the scheme started in Sainsbury's in Queen's Road. Credit: Rhosyn Almond

Rhosyn Almond, a PhD student at UEA, who helped get the scheme started in Sainsbury's in Queen's Road. Credit: Rhosyn Almond

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Norwich Foodbank has teamed up with Sainsbury's stores in the city by adding labels to the products that are most needed for food parcels.

Norwich Foodbank project manager Hannah Worsley. Credit: Nick ButcherNorwich Foodbank project manager Hannah Worsley. Credit: Nick Butcher

The scheme first started in Sainsbury's in Exeter and following its success, the team at Norwich Foodbank wanted to bring the scheme to the city.

They found when doing supermarket collections that a lot of customers would not know what was needed and would forget the bin was there.

Norwich Foodbank, whose warehouse is based in Earlham, began trials in the Queens Road Sainsbury's store in November last year and staff in the Longwater branch then followed suit and started labelling too.

Hannah Worsley, project manager at Norwich Foodbank, said: "We found that people didn't know what we needed and so we trialled in Queen's Road and had support from the University of East Anglia who analysed the donations before and after the labels.

"It has been really positive and lots of customers have found it helpful and we now want to go to other supermarkets as well.

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"Whilst there are some products we always need, such as tinned meet and vegetables and long-life fruit and milk, we go in every month and change the labels for the other bits that we need."

The logo on a Sainsbury's supermarket. Credit: Chris BishopThe logo on a Sainsbury's supermarket. Credit: Chris Bishop

From May 2018 to May 2019, Norwich Foodbank experienced its busiest ever year and gave out 10,500 food parcels, which was the first time ever it had reached five figures.

The Norwich Foodbank, which is run by The Trussell Trust, currently has 180 volunteers and there are pop-up centres across the city.

Mrs Worsley added: "Last year was the first time we went over 10,000 and I think it is partly Universal Credit pushing more referrals and people are just struggling more.

"There are so many kind-hearted people in Norwich and we are extremely grateful to all their support.

"We have been open nine years, and I've been here five, and I am really pleased as you worry about donor and compassion fatigue but it doesn't die down and people here really care."

To find a foodbank centre near you, visit trusselltrust.org

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