Tesco has revealed its food surplus redistribution initiative, 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.
This work is a key part of the retailer’s target to ensure no food safe for human consumption will go to waste inside Tesco’s UK operations by the end of 2017 and in County Tyrone Tesco’s initiative has seen 4,277 meals donated to local groups.
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.
Working with FareShare, Tesco colleagues across the UK have helped enlist local charities to join the IGD award-winning initiative*. 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, including one in County Tyrone, and work is already underway to roll it out to a further 1,800 convenience stores.
Matt Davies, Tesco UK and ROI CEO 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.”
In 2017 Tesco is set to extend Community Food Connection to its convenience stores, which will significantly extend the number of charities reached.