The Co-op Group has partnered with a food redistribution charity to provide 100,000 meals to vulnerable people in the run-up to Christmas. The retailer will work with FareShare to allocate meat, fruit, vegetables, ready meals and chilled items to families in need.
Since 2013 the Group has redistributed almost 1,300 tonnes of food to charities via its network of nine depots – enough to make more than three million meals. Co-op Food has been working with FareShare throughout the year and has provided 435 tonnes of food since January, the equivalent of approximately one million meals. Another 40 tonnes – another 100,000 meals – will go out before Christmas.
Overall, 1,135 charities and community groups have received food from the Group through FareShare since January, including children’s breakfast and after-school clubs, youth centres, hostels and supported housing, community cafes, older people’s services, food banks, and family and children’s centres.
Cathryn Higgs, head of food policy at the Group, said: “Our long-term ambition is that no food fit for consumption should go to waste and that’s why we are why we are working hard to provide an extra 100,000 meals in the run up to Christmas – a time of year that is so strongly associated with the enjoyment of food.
“While so many people in the UK still aren’t able to get access to a nutritious cooked meal, we must do whatever is necessary to support the work of FareShare and put an end to unnecessary food waste.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, added: “FareShare is undergoing a period of rapid growth at present, coupled with unprecedented demand for food from the voluntary sector.
“The food we receive from the Co-op has been critical to our ability to supply thousands more charities on the front line helping those in need. We congratulate the Co-op for providing over three million meals so far and give thanks to all those involved in ensuring this valuable food continues to reach us week in week out.”