// Asda donates £5 million to food banks and charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust
// It also extended accessible hours for NHS workers
// Asda’s store & distribution staff who do not need to self-isolate will receive an additional weeks pay in June as a thank you
Asda has become the latest grocer to introduce a dedicated shopping hour for NHS workers, while also donating £5 million to charities and giving shop and distribution workers bonus pay.
Asda said its donation will go to charity partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the country’s most vulnerable people through Covid-19 pandemic.
The Big 4 grocer said the donation will provide over four million meals to families in poverty impacted by virus as well as giving more than 3000 charities the ability to access free food over the next three months as they fight to tackle the impacts of the pandemic in their communities.
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The donation from the supermarket also will help the networks of FareShare and the Trussell Trust as they experience a huge increase in demand over the coming months, as more vulnerable people turn to food banks.
Asda is also investing in the logistics and support services that will allow the charities to support families through the coronavirus crisis, including funding for telephone, and online and food delivery systems for people unable to afford food, as well as supporting the recruitment of 20,000 volunteers to support food banks.
Asda is not the first to make a significant donation to charities during the coronavirus crisis, with Aldi, Lidl, the John Lewis Partnership, Co-op and Marks & Spencer already announcing their own respective initiatives with FareShare, the Trussell Trust and Neighbourly.
“These are the most extraordinary of times and I am keenly aware of our responsibility to help feed the nation – both by keeping our shelves stocked and deliveries moving – but also by providing employment opportunities where we can and supporting our charity partners to help the most vulnerable in our communities,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
Meanwhile, Asda staff members who work on the shop floor or in distribution centres will be paid a bonus worth an additional weeks pay in June as a “thank you” for their efforts as they work tirelessly to keep shelves filled for customers during the crisis.
“The efforts my colleagues are going to support our customers every day are fantastic, and we will continue to recognise their efforts wherever we can,” Burnley said.
“I also want to thank our amazing customers who continue to donate to our food bank trollies and who continue to think of others, even in such worrying times.”
In addition, Asda said will now prioritise NHS workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a dedicated shopping hour between 8am-9am.
Other grocers that have introduced dedicated shopping hours for NHS workers include Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer.
The Big 4 grocer is also asking that where possible, customers use card and contactless payment method in order to reduce the amount of cash colleagues are handling, and therefore reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
“We all have a clear responsibility to look after each other during this crisis, particularly our most vulnerable groups,” Burnley said.
“I was heartened to see how our customers respected this priority access and so am proud to be able to extend it to more regular days and also include our amazing NHS colleagues can access our stores with a little more ease.”