New foodbank point at Cookstown Tesco to feed into local charities

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Shoppers can now do their good deed for the day while browsing the isles at Tesco after a new deal between the supermarket and local charities.

A first for the area, Tesco is hosting a permanent foodbank for St Vincent de Paul (SVP), Women’s Aid and the Must Hostel in Cookstown.

This means anyone using the supermarket can donate anything available to buy in-store, to those in need of support across the district.

And as SVP works in partnership with a local charities, GPs and agencies the impact will be far-reaching.

Charity president Dennis Loughrey told the Mail more and more local people are turning to foodbanks for help to put food on table.

“In Cookstown they are doing a neighbourhood foodbank and they have nominated ourselves, Women’s Aid and the Must Hostel,” he explained. “It’s agencies working together under the umbrella of Tesco - all we have to do is go down there and collect it. The idea is that when you go in to shop you buy one or two items and deposit that in the container on your way out.”

Charlie Bell, consumer champion at Tesco Cookstown, said she has been working closely with SVP for around a year, and that when the chance came up to forge a more permanent link local charities, management jumped at it.

“We had the opportunity to get a permanent foodbank,” she said, “so our store manager Craig got the ball rolling. It’s going really well - our customers are very happy to support St Vincent de Paul and our local foodbanks.”

Store manager Craig O’Neill added: “It’s great that people are donating and obviously its tinned food that comes straight to mind, but when you talk to Dennis it’s more about the toiletries, toothbrushes, nappies, washing powder - all those things.”