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Meals on Wheels: Tesco Ireland donations 40 vans to Charitable Groups

Emma Walsh, COO FoodCloud, Geoff Byrne, COO Tesco Ireland, Aoibheann O’Brien CEO FoodCloud hub & Clair O’Donnell, Head of Grocery Home Shopping, Tesco Ireland

Tesco Ireland has announced the donation of 40 Grocery Home Service Vans to charitable groups across the country. This move is part of Tesco’s No Time for Waste campaign which aims to minimise food waste and increase surplus food donations nationwide.

Since becoming the first retailer to launch a nationwide surplus food donations programme in 2014 with FoodCloud, Tesco has redistributed almost 4.5 million meals to over 275 community groups across the country. Every week Tesco donates on average the equivalent of over 41,000 meals. Over 275 local community groups are already realising the benefits of Tesco’s surplus food donations including family resource centres, soup kitchens, youth services, homeless organisations, meals on wheels and more. These donations have enabled the charitable sector to save over €6 million off their food bills to date, as estimated by FoodCloud, empowering them to invest in additional support services across the country.

By working closely with its surplus food donations partners and FoodCloud, Tesco Ireland has identified two key issues for the charitable food sector in Ireland and has plans in place to support causes to address them.

Firstly, local causes lack sufficient refrigerated storage facilities for food. To support causes to increase their storage capacity, Tesco Ireland recently committed to providing free fridges and freezers to them through its Community Chill initiative. To date, Tesco has received a phenomenal response with applications received for over 340 individual storage units that are expected to be delivered to the successful community groups in January 2018.

Secondly, many causes lack transport options with volunteers using their own personal cars and vans to carry out the day-to-day services of local groups and organisations across the country. To support its partner causes with this challenge, Tesco Ireland is delighted to announce that it will donate 40 vans to charitable groups across Ireland over the coming months including Dublin Simon Community, DaisyHouse, Linx Ballymun and many more.

The first round of these donations is the donation of 7 vans to FoodCloud. These vans will be used as part of FoodCloud’s Food Rescue Project which redistributes surplus food from Tesco stores to community groups that do not have access to transport in Dublin and Cork.

Geoff Byrne, Chief Operating Officer, Tesco Ireland, said: “The donation of 40 vans is an evolution of our commitment to reducing food waste and ensuring those in need in our local communities receive nutritious food. Our surplus food donations programme has grown from strength to strength, from a one store trial back in 2013 to donating almost 4.5 million meals with all of stores donating surplus food to their local communities with the support of FoodCloud. This donation of vans will help us redistribute even more food to people in need.”

Aoibheann O’Brien, CEO of FoodCloud Hubs, commented: “We are delighted to receive these 7 vans from Tesco. These vans are going to make a fantastic difference for the community groups we work with who struggle to collect food due to transport issues. This will mean that we can increase the food that these community groups receive and in turn enable them to have a reliable source of surplus food donations. ”

Tesco is calling on new community groups who could benefit from receiving surplus food donations to register to become part of our surplus food donation programme via their website: Tesco.ie/notimeforwaste . In addition, any organisation that has not yet signed up to Tesco’s Surplus Food Donations Programme due to transport limitations but would like to explore doing so is asked to contact foodwastemovement@tesco.ie for further information.