The charity, which fights hunger and food waste, has seen demand for its service rise sharply at a time when unlocking surplus food has become more challenging, against a backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis.
FareShare Sussex & Surrey
says it needs to see an increase of more than 40% of surplus food to meet the demand
from its current waiting list.
At present, the charity receives about 70 tonnes of food a month and is calling on residents and businesses across the region for support and donations to help meet the shortfall and prevent hunger in deprived communities this winter.
The charity aims to raise £30,000 in just seven days through its Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal, which could help provide more than 120,000 meals for those in need.
From Tuesday 28th November until Tuesday 5th December, all cash donations made through the Big Give online portal will be doubled.
Supporters can also help by giving food through the charity's Tesco food drive, or by giving their time to volunteer.
From Thursday 30th November to Saturday 2nd December, large Tesco stores in Hove, Portslade, Shoreham, Littlehampton, Lewes, Burgess Hill, Crawley and Gatwick will be collecting contributions, and volunteers are needed to work in Tesco stores to help gather the food.
By giving just a few hours of time, supporters can help the charity collect food to top up existing supplies; Fareshare Sussex & Surrey
aims to gather 15 tonnes of food
over the three-day period.
Dan Slatter, CEO of FareShare Sussex & Surrey said:
"This winter we are urging communities to come together to help us provide food for those who need it most across Sussex and Surrey.
"Sadly we're expecting demand to reach record levels at a time when we have seen a reduction in surplus food levels amid the high cost of living.
"Loneliness at Christmas can be especially painful. We're working with charities and community groups who provide communal meals for those who could otherwise be alone.
"Giving food at your local Tesco store, volunteering to help us collect those food donations or donating to our Big Give Christmas Challenge are the three ways people can help.
"Last year we raised more than £14,000 through the Big Give and more than 15 tonnes of food through the Tesco food drive - and this year we"re determined to double this figure.
"Please dig deep to give what you can to help us fight hunger in our communities this winter."
to the Big Give from Tuesday 28th November to Tuesday 5th December, please visit the website here or donate through the portal on the FareShare Sussex & Surrey website at www.faresharesussexandsurrey.org.uk