Retailer will ensure all surplus food goes to good causes by end of this year
Supermarket giant Tesco has revealed its Community Food Connection has so far helped serve five million meals to more than 3,300 community groups and charities since its launch less than a year ago.
The food surplus redistribution initiative is a part of the retailer’s new strategy to ensure no food goes to waste in its UK operations.
Launched in February 2016, the initiative sees Tesco stores providing their surplus food to local charities and community groups.
The food plays a key role in helping charities feed people and, in doing so, allowing the money saved to be invested in vital social services in communities across the whole of the UK.
Tesco helped develop the nationwide scheme in partnership with a small social enterprise, FoodCloud, and food redistribution charity, FareShare following a successful partnership in Ireland.
Community Food Connection links charities and community groups to their local Tesco stores through an innovative phone app. 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 for their community work.
The scheme is live in 900 Tesco stores and work is already underway to roll it out to a further 1,800 convenience stores.
Matt Davies, Tesco chief executive said: “It’s great to see the difference Community Food Connection is making to providing people in need with meals from food that would otherwise go to waste and services they need. We know we still have more to do to achieve our target that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste in our UK operations, but this is important progress.
“Our colleagues are playing a vital role. Together with our partners FareShare and FoodCloud, they are helping to make sure local charities across the UK have access to surplus food from our stores.”
Our colleagues are playing a vital role - Matt Davies
Later in the year Tesco will roll-out the initiative to its convenience stores, which will significantly extend the number of charities reached. The retailer is asking local groups and charities to sign up to receive surplus food donations.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “Tesco has led the way with introducing such a step-change in tackling their store surplus food and having seen the scheme grow and create such impact for vulnerable people, it proves that it can deliver very obvious results which can benefit other retailers and their local communities too.”
Charities and communitiy groups can apply for support from the initiative here