A supermarket scheme to ensure food does not go to waste has served up 47,637 meals in St Helens.
Tesco’s surplus food redistribution initiative Community Food Connection has served 10m meals nationally, helping more than 5,000 charities and community groups across the country.
It is part of the firm’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, with Parr Mount among those to benefit in St Helens.
Launched in February 2016, the 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 UK.
Run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, Tesco stores donate unsold food to feed people in need through an app developed by Irish social enterprise FoodCloud.
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 itLindsay Boswell, FareShare
The app lets charities know there is surplus food available at the end of each day. Community groups can then collect the food and use it to provide meals for vulnerable people.
Working with FareShare, Tesco staff in St Helens have helped enlist local charities to join the initiative.
The scheme is already in place in all large Tesco stores and is being rolled out to a further 1,800 convenience stores nationwide.
Tesco’s regional communications manager Mark Thomas 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 10m 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.”
Charities and community groups that could benefit from the support of Community Food Connection can visit www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud to register.