Tesco’s food surplus redistribution initiative, Community Food Connection, has now served up 3,923 meals in Coleraine and 10 million meals nationally, helping more than 5,000 charities and community groups across the country.
This work is a key part of Tesco’s target to ensure no food safe for human consumption will go to waste by the end of 2017.
Charities benefitting from the scheme include homeless hostels, breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children, domestic violence refuges and lunch clubs for older people.
Launched in February 2016, Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme plays a key role in helping charities feed people and in doing so, enabling the money saved to be invested back into services in communities across the whole of the UK.
The scheme, run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, enables Tesco stores to donate unsold food to feed people in need through an app developed by Irish Social Enterprise, FoodCloud.
The app lets local charities know there is surplus food available at the end of each day. Community groups can then collect and use the food to provide nutritious meals to vulnerable people.
Working with FareShare, Tesco colleagues in Coleraine have helped enlist local charities to join the initiative.
The scheme is already live in all large Tesco stores, and is currently rolling out to a further 1,800 convenience stores nationwide.
Tony McElroy, Head of Communications Northern Ireland, at Tesco said: “It’s great to see the difference Community Food Connection is making by providing people in need with meals from food that would otherwise go to waste.
“We know that it frees up time and resources so that the charities using it can focus on offering other services. Our colleagues are playing an important role, too. Together with FareShare, they’re helping to make sure local charities across the UK have access to surplus food from our stores.”
Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said: “Reaching 10 million meals through our network of 5,000 charities and community groups is a phenomenal achievement. There’s no reason for good quality, in-date food from stores to be thrown away when it could go to a charity who needs it. A big thank you to Tesco for their commitment to tackling food waste.’
If you are a charity or community group that could benefit from the support of Community Food Connection, visit www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud to register.