The Co-op Group has reached its target to supply a million meals by redistributing surplus food – but it’s not stopping there.
The retailer has pledged to provide 100,000 more meals to good causes in the run-up to Christmas, supplying a range of chilled food items to the food redistribution charity FareShare, via its nine distribution depots.
FareShare, which is dedicated to fighting hunger and tackling food waste, passes the food on to local charities and community groups who transform it into meals for vulnerable people.
The volume of surplus food redistributed by the Group from January to November was 467 tonnes, which equates to 1.1 million meals.
With two weeks to go until the end of the year, the retailer will redistribute an additional 42 tonnes, which equates to another 100,000 meals – taking the total to 1.2 million.
The Group’s retail chief executive, Steve Murrells, said: “We’re thrilled to have reached more than a million meals, but there’s still time to get beyond that figure and make a really big difference to help feeding vulnerable people, particularly at this time of year.
“Our ultimate long-term ambition on redistribution is that no food fit for consumption goes to waste.”
Over 1,000 of charities and community groups have received food from Co-op Group this year. These include children’s breakfast and after school clubs, youth centres, hostels and supported housing for people suffering from homelessness, community cafes, older people’s services to tackle social isolation, food banks, and family and children’s centres.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said: “Co-op’s food has enabled us to step up our ability to tackle hunger on the frontline and is lifting people out of poverty and isolation across the UK every day. The meals they provide are a lifeline.”
As well as distributing food from its distribution venues, the Group is also trialling a number of different initiatives to redistribute food from its food stores.