19th February 2016
CEO, ASDA UK
Dear Mr Clarke,
I’m writing to you extremely disappointed at your decision to remove food bank donation points from your stores. Food banks work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable people in the country and Liverpool in particular has benefited hugely from the work done by our local food banks.
Families are facing tough times in this city. The assault on our budget by Government-led austerity means we have to do a lot more with a lot less. Changes to welfare, income and housing support means more and more parents are facing stark choices, very often between heating the house or feeding their children. Through no fault of their own people are being pushed into poverty and finding themselves dependent on food banks to live a healthy and dignified life.
The work food banks do is not just around feeding people, though since 2011 the Liverpool Central Food Bank alone has fed 33,000 people.
They provide help, support and guidance to get people out of danger. Joint partnership work with churches, community groups and the Council is second to none. Be under no illusions – the stark reality is that we are facing a crisis not seen since Victorian times, and we must do all we can to alleviate this crisis.
I have seen ASDA’s arguments defending their charitable actions. I welcome the fact the ASDA foundation will continue their good work supporting charitable schemes. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the removal of permanent donation points in your stores will harm the local food banks that are reliant on your stores’ year-round support.
Many of your competitors are showing huge support for food banks at this tough time and I’m disappointed to see ASDA aren’t doing the same. I am, as are my children and grandchildren, regular shoppers at ASDA stores. Unfortunately, due to your removal of the donation points we can no longer consider being customers of yours and I will publicly urge Liverpool residents and others to do the same.
I hope you urgently reconsider this decision.
Mayor of Liverpool