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Much-Needed Funds And Food Donated For People In Need

Isle of Wight people experiencing homelessness are benefiting from a £1,500 grant and produce donated to the Pop Up Soup Kitchen (PUSK).

In 2022, Tesco donated an ex-fleet delivery van to the charity so that free, nutritious, ready-to-eat meals and other items could be given to those in need.

This important service, which provides more than 4,000 meals a year, relies entirely on volunteers and is funded by donations.

Tesco’s £1,500 grant will help ensure that PUSK’s van is fully stocked with items such as sleeping bags, foil blankets, warm clothing and toiletries — which can then be given to locals at no charge.

In addition to the funding, Tesco donated more than £150 worth of ingredients to help the provide more meals.

Delivering warm meals is part of the charity's commitment to ‘providing responsibly’ because people using the service often do not have the resources and time to cook.

Jon Roberts, Store Manager at Ryde Extra, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to support the Pop Up Soup Kitchen again.

"It is fantastic to see one of our old delivery vans being put to such good use, and the contribution which the Pop Up Soup Kitchen makes to the local community is amazing.

"We’d encourage residents to support the charity if they can as they do such invaluable work supporting those in need of the Isle of Wight.”

Trevor Blaney, founder of the Pop Up Soup Kitchen, was awarded a Local Food Hero award in 2017 for his work.

He said:

“This summer marks the soup kitchen’s 10-year anniversary.

"In recognition of this, I will be driving the van to cities such as Newport, Sheffield and Manchester to raise awareness of our work, the benefit it’s delivered and ways in which this could be replicated in other areas.

"Tesco has committed to supporting me by providing food and other resources at each location I visit, which is really special.”

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