Tesco Calls On Kerry Charity Groups To Sign Up To Food Donation Programme

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Janusz Glebocki, store manager Tesco Tralee Square (right) and Etain Usher (second from right) of Food Aid Tralee with Breda Flynn of Tesco and Martin Gill of Food Aid Tralee.

TESCO Ireland in partnership with FoodCloud has provided over 150,000 meals drawn from surplus food donations across eight charitable causes in Kerry over the last four years.

And a local group has seen first hand how it has helped the elderly in Tralee and at a local school.

The figures are released as the company marks the first year of its drive to ensuring that no good food goes to waste in its stores by 2020.

Nationwide, six million meals have been donated to schools and charitable causes, and almost €8million in savings has been realised for these causes since 2014, as reported by FoodCloud.

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One year ago, Tesco announced a commitment that no surplus food that’s suitable for human consumption will go to waste in its stores by 2020, and became the first retailer in Ireland to publish its food waste data to help the company meet this target.

Etain Usher from Tralee Food Run, who participates in the surplus food donations programme said;  “It can be upsetting at times, to see how people are trying to cope with so little, especially elderly people. It’s great though to be able to do some little thing to help.”

Any food left over is brought to a local school. “We hear that teachers there sometimes have to buy lunch for children who arrive in with nothing,” Etain said “so any extra we have, like a crate of fruit, for example, we bring up to the school. The staff up at Tesco are fantastic – we couldn’t give them enough credit,” says Etain. “They know it’s all going to people that really need it and they go out of their way to help us.”

The company also launched the Community Chill Campaign, which provides food related good causes with free fridges and freezers so they can receive more surplus food donations to help people in need. The Community Chill aims to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to local good causes taking more surplus food; which is their lack of storage facilities. To date Tesco has donated 150 fridge/ freezers to local causes right across Ireland.

Tesco is today reaffirming its commitment to reaching this goal by 2020, and is calling on Kerry charities to sign up to receive surplus food donations.

Speaking about the company’s dedication to tackling food waste in its business, Christine Heffernan, corporate affairs director Tesco Ireland, said;

“Our work to reduce food waste began 5 years ago when we first partnered with FoodCloud, but in the last year since we launched Community Chill, under the No Time for Waste campaign, we have seen strong engagement from charitable groups around the country, and we have had the chance to help them to increase their food storage facilities so together we can redistribute even more surplus food to those in need. It’s simply not right that food goes to waste and today we are calling on groups to get in touch and find out how they can get involved and help us put edible surplus food to good use.”

To apply for a free fridge or freezer from Tesco, charitable groups countrywide can visit www.tesco.ie/notimeforwaste or call into their local store to find out more about Tesco’s No Time for Waste strategy which aims to minimise food waste and increase surplus food donations at Tesco stores nationwide.

Groups already realising the benefits of Tesco’s surplus food donations include family resource centres, soup kitchens, youth services, homeless organisations, the elderly and more.

These donations have enabled the charitable sector to save almost €8 million off their food bills to date, as reported by FoodCloud, empowering them to invest in additional support services across the country.

Interested community groups and local causes can apply for The Community Chill by completing the online application form at www.tesco.ie/notimeforwaste

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