Food Cloud Surplus Food Donations Programme
At Tesco, we have no time for waste. We believe that it’s simply not right that perfectly edible surplus food should go to waste when there are people in our communities who need it.
That’s why, in 2013, we became the first retailer in Ireland to partner with FoodCloud, an Irish social enterprise that links businesses who have too much food with those who need it most.
Working with FoodCloud, and over 380 local charitable groups, we redistribute surplus food at the end of each day to families in need in our communities. This food is perfectly edible but because it is nearing the end of its use by date, it isn’t put on sale the following day. Donations usually comprise a mix of fresh fruit & veg, bakery, meat and more.
Since we launched our national surplus food donations programme with FoodCloud, we have provided over 13 million meals to those in need.
According to FoodCloud, this has enabled the charitable sector in Ireland to save over €16 million off their food bills to date, empowering them to invest into providing a greater level of support services in towns and cities nationwide.
We are really proud of our work with FoodCloud to date, and look forward to continuing to support them into the future.
Community Chill campaign
As part of a review of our Surplus Food Donations Programme in 2016, we undertook comprehensive research with local community groups and charity causes nationwide to assess how the programme was meeting their needs.
As part of this review, we discovered that local causes were limited in the volume of surplus food they could accept from us for two main reasons - a lack of cold storage space and a shortage of suitable transport options for collecting surplus food.
Causes told Tesco that they would take a higher volume of donations if they had suitable storage facilities in which to keep it and a convenient way of transporting it.
We took this on board, and launched our 'Community Chill' campaign in 2017, where we donate fridge-freezer units and refrigerated vans to local causes nationwide, ensuring that those causes have the storage and transport infrastructure necessary to accept the surplus food donations.
Since the onset of Covid-19, FoodCloud has seen a dramatic dip in volumes of food received into their warehouses, following a record surge in demand and volumes re-distributed for April and May 2020.
To support in the early stages, we donated two bulk donations of surplus food and have continued to support with our regular donations. We have also held three separate food appeals in stores, where customers were asked to donate nonperishable food to help the local causes we work with through the Tesco Surplus Food Donations Programme.
In addition, from April 2020, we have engaged with our suppliers and encouraged them to support FoodCloud directly, with great success.