Tesco has announced on World Food Day, 16 October 2013 that it will provide the equivalent of seven million meals a year to more than 1,000 charities across the UK by strengthening its partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare. The initiative supports the UNEP- FAO global campaign Think Eat Save--Reduce Your Foodprint.
Chef at FS recipient charity preparing vegetable quiche for lunch - Credit Antonio Olmos
The news comes as figures published today by FareShare show the organisation is facing record levels of demand for its services and providing food to more organisations than ever before.
The figures show that FareShare now provides food to more than 1,000 charities across the UK – a 15 per cent increase in just six months. More than 50,000 people a day are being fed through these charities with the support of FareShare who redistribute surplus food up and down the country.
To help meet this increase in demand, Tesco has announced it will be diverting all surplus fresh food from its distribution centres and online grocery centres to support FareShare. This will amount to more than 2,300 tonnes, enough for seven million meals each year.
Tesco will provide FareShare with fresh produce including items such as chicken, peppers apples and other fresh fruit and vegetables.
FareShare and Tesco will rescue surplus food to help feed those in need
The partnership will result in FareShare helping the charities they support including homeless shelters, breakfast clubs for children and luncheon clubs for the elderly save an estimated £4 million in the first year of the scheme. More than 80 per cent of these charities invest these savings into providing more support services for the people they help, such as counselling.
As well as diverting their fresh food, Tesco will provide further support by delivering the food directly to FareShare through the extensive Tesco distribution network.
Tesco distribution network
Rebecca Shelley, Tesco Group Corporate Affairs Director said: “World Food Day is a timely reminder that food poverty is a growing problem in the UK and around the world. Our scale puts us in a unique position to make a difference, so we’re building on our relationship with FareShare and through them, we will be giving all our surplus fresh food to those who need it most. This will provide seven million meals for people in the UK and will also help us to tackle food waste.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said: “For the first time ever we are supporting more than 1000 frontline charities in the UK. Our partnership with Tesco will enable us to provide even more high quality, nutritious food to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It will also mean the charities we support will save millions of pounds on their food bill, which they can invest into providing additional support services for their beneficiaries, helping to get people back on their feet.”
One of the charities that receive food from FareShare is Divine Rescue in London. This day centre supports up to 100 people at a time, providing three meals a day, shelter, health services and advice.
Vera Hine, Divine Rescue said: “Food is crucial for us and it is a big attraction for the people who look to Divine Rescue for support. Regular food is vital for both the physical and mental health of our clients – people are healthier and happier when they are fed and warm. It would be much harder without FareShare and the food they provide us with helps us save time and money. The food is put to good use and is really appreciated.”
Providing food then allows the centre to focus all efforts in directly helping their clients with other needs, such as sourcing clothes for a job interview, or finding a place to spend the night.
The announcement follows Tesco’s pledge to take the lead in tackling food waste and is part of its wider commitment to use its scale for good. Surplus food is the result of over ordering or mislabelling but is still in date and safe to eat. Instead of this surplus food being sent back to suppliers, it will now be passed to FareShare and used to feed people across the UK.
Tesco already supports FareShare through its National Food Collections which take place in Tesco stores across the UK twice a year. Since September 2012, Tesco and its customers have contributed the equivalent of 5.5 million meals to food charities.
FareShare is a unique charity fighting hunger and its underlying causes by redistributing surplus food to hundreds of local charities across the UK. By ensuring good food is not wasted, we turn an environmental problem into a solution, helping to feed thousands of vulnerable people every day.
FareShare has been operating since 2004 as an independent charity and today has 17 locations across the UK that provide to more than 1000 local charities. Last year we redistributed 4,200 tonnes of food, enough to feed more than 50,000 people every day, saving each charity an average of £13,000 a year and food businesses 1,850 tonnes of CO2 emissions. By creating a value chain directly between the food industry and people in need, we are unique in fighting hunger by tackling food waste. Find out more at www.fareshare.org.uk
About Tesco and FareShare
Tesco currently provides FareShare with surplus food collected via its online grocer delivery centres. Tesco has already provided the equivalent of one million meals since the start of the scheme in December 2012.
Tesco also collects food donated by its customers through its National Food Collections. In July 2013, Tesco customers raised 3.5 million meals for people in need, including Tesco’s 30% top up.
The new scheme, which launches on World Food Day, is in support of the UNEP- FAO global campaign Think Eat Save--Reduce Your Foodprint.
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