Tesco to give unsold food to the hungry

Tesco fareshare cropped

Wendy Weir from Granton Youth Centre, Tony McElroy Tesco’s head of communications in Scotland, Gillian Kynoch, head of Fareshare Scotland and chef Adam Palmer launch the food partnership.

Every little helps in the battle against food poverty as charities and supermarket announce a major tie-up.

Graham Martin's photo

8th March 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Charities and a major supermarket chain will combine to provide an innovative approach to tackling food poverty.

Tesco has announced a tie-up with the third sector which will see unsold produce being distributed to community and voluntary groups to help feed those most in need.

The deal, announced this week, will see Edinburgh becoming one of the first cities in the UK to benefit from the scheme.

At the end of every day, Tesco workers at stores in the capital will identify unsold food which is still good to eat and will send out a message to charities who join the programme through an app, asking if they want to collect it.

Produce will then be boxed so volunteers can pick it up at the store.

No food that can be eaten should go to waste. We’re working hard to make sure that the unsold food is made the most of

It is being co-ordinated through a partnership between UK food redistribution charity FareShare and Irish social enterprise FoodCloud.

FareShare will connect charities and community groups with their local Tesco store after visiting them to check their ability to take the food.

FoodCloud provides the technology for the app, which has now been incorporated into technology used by workers in Edinburgh’s Tesco stores.

The partnership is now looking to recruit charities and community groups to the initiative.

Unsold food available will be fresh produce, such as fruit, vegetables and bakery products, while chilled products like meat, dairy and ready meals are also offered.

Tony McElroy, Tesco’s head of communications in Scotland, said: “No food that can be eaten should go to waste. We’re working hard to make sure that the unsold food is made the most of; we have great links with local charities and community groups, so we’re pleased to introduce another initiative that will support their efforts to help vulnerable people.”

Gillian Kynoch, head of FareShare in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be offering our store level solution in partnership with Tesco who are demonstrating real leadership in tackling food surplus. FareShare FoodCloud is a natural extension of our work together.

“Our role as a trusted partner to the voluntary sector is really important to the charities and community groups we work with and we are excited to launch this new service with Tesco’s support.”

Tesco’s seven stores in Edinburgh are among the first in the country to roll out the service, following a pilot in 14 stores which saw Tesco donate over 22 tonnes of food to more than 50 charities, the equivalent weight to over 50,000 meals.

For more information and to register for FareShare FoodCloud, click here.