Thanks to donations of unsold food from Tesco, Merryfields Playschool in Diss has been providing healthy meals for their children.

Merryfields Playschool is just one of many Norfolk community groups and charities benefitting from Tesco’s food donation scheme.

Tesco’s Community Food Connection is the largest supermarket food redistribution scheme in the UK. It provides the equivalent of around 350,000 meals to charities and community groups every week.

Merryfields is a charitable preschool that is partially government funded and partly fee-paying. However, there are a lot of parents who cannot afford to contribute towards their children having nutritious meals, so the setting depends on food donations from Tesco.

Staff at the playschool use surplus food collected from the store to prepare meals and then anything leftover is packaged into food parcels and given to parents in need.

The food is also used to help children progress their cooking and baking skills, as well as being used for sensory play.

Manager of the playschool Sharon Everett said the donated food helps to make a real difference.

She added: “The Community Food Connection Scheme is a lifeline for us.

“We pick up from Tesco in Diss each week and the staff there are fantastic – they really try to find out what types of food are helpful to us and go out of their way to provide them.

“Not a single bit of donated food goes to waste as we can use it in so many different ways, all designed to benefit the children. Some of their parents have been through some difficult times and being able to provide a child with a hot meal and some extra food to take home is a relief for everyone.”

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