Tesco stores celebrate four years of surplus food donations
31 May 2019
Tesco is marking the fourth anniversary of its Community Food Connection surplus food redistribution scheme with a celebration of the millions of meals donated to date.
Since the scheme’s launch in June 2015, Tesco stores have donated more than 36 million meals worth of food to charities and community groups across the UK through Community Food Connection.
Special events to mark the anniversary of the scheme, which is run in conjunction with food charity FareShare, are being held in more than 300 Tesco stores this weekend.
The stores taking part include 11 Large Format stores which have now donated more than 100,000 meals apiece, and more than 30 Convenience stores that have donated more than 25,000 meals worth of food to feed people in their local communities.
Shrewsbury Extra is one of the Tesco stores that has donated more than 100,000 meals since the scheme. Among the groups that receive food from the store is Riversway Elim Church, which runs a variety of services for the local community through its bridge project. These include a children’s playgroup, a natter café for people who might otherwise be isolated to meet up and a food pantry.
Sue Briggs, from Riversway Elim Church, said:
"Before Tesco invited us to come in we had to purchase all the food ourselves. The things we could do before were very limited but today we can offer more choice to help people and families.
"You can make friends when you share a bowl of soup and eat together, and it is just something really positive to help people in the community. We are genuinely thankful for what Tesco have done for us because they have made a difference here."
Tesco’s Head of Community Alec Brown said:
"Community Food Connection helps us to tackle food waste in our business and support thousands of amazing local charities like Riversway Elim Church, doing great work in their communities.
"We know that the scheme has made a real difference over the past four years and we look forward to providing millions more meals from Tesco stores in the years ahead."
FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said the success of the scheme showed what could be achieved in tackling the issue of food waste:
"Around a third of all the food that is grown in the world goes to waste, so we are proud of our partnership with Tesco, which has allowed us to divert thousands of tonnes of food to feed people rather than going to waste.
"At FareShare, we work closely with some 7,000 groups that now receive surplus food from Tesco, and our community coordinators see week-in week-out the difference that the surplus food is making in settings such as community centres, pensioners’ lunch clubs, groups helping the homeless and children’s breakfast clubs."
To find out more about Community Food Connection, visit www.sustainability.tescoplc.com.