75,000 ‘surplus food’ meals donated from St Helens Tesco stores

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Workers at branches of Tesco across St Helens have donated more than 75,000 meals under a scheme to put the supermarket giant’s surplus food to good use.

More than 75,000 meals have been provided to charities and community groups in St Helens thanks to Tesco’s surplus food redistribution scheme Community Food Connection.

The total has been released to mark the roll-out of the scheme across all of Tesco’s stores across the UK. Stores are able to provide surplus food every night.

To date more than 20 million meals have been provided to charities and community groups taking part in the scheme, with food for 600,000 meals a week now being provided to good causes across the UK, saving them money which can be used to provide other services.

In St Helens Tesco’s initiative has seen 76,262 meals donated to local groups including homeless shelters, community centres, breakfast clubs, and groups providing food to vulnerable older people.

The Community Food Connection programme is run in conjunction with FareShare and FoodCloud. Good causes are able to link up with local Tesco stores, from small Express stores to big Tesco Extras, via an innovative app that allows store teams to alert them to surplus unsold food items available at the end of each day.

Not only does the scheme benefit the community groups involved, but it also prevents unsold food going to waste.

Tesco’s Head of Community Alec Brown said: “We know that Community Food Connection is making a real difference to communities in St Helens by providing people in need with meals from food that would otherwise go to waste.

“Now that all of our stores are taking part in Community Food Connection there are more opportunities than ever for groups to benefit from the free food provided under the scheme. I would invite any group that thinks they could benefit from the scheme to contact FareShare, as we have the capacity to help even more good causes.”

Tesco helped develop the nationwide scheme in partnership with food redistribution charity, FareShare using an app created by the small social enterprise FoodCloud.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said: “This is an incredible milestone in store-level food redistribution to charities which Tesco has made possible since developing the programme with FareShare and FoodCloud.

“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.”

Tesco and FareShare are calling on charities and community groups across St Helens to register for the scheme, which sees food including fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables and bakery products, as well as chilled products like meat, cheese and ready meals, donated for free to groups that sign up.