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Over ½ million meals donated to charities across Ireland by Tesco using surplus food from its stores

Over 500,000 meals or 230 tonnes of surplus food from Tesco stores has been donated to charities across the country since the launch of its partnership with FoodCloud last July. Over 250 charities are receiving food donations from their local Tesco store on a weekly basis to help support their community causes which includes helping the homeless, meals on wheels delivery services or weekly socialising dinners for the elderly.

Geoff Byrne, Chief Operating Officer Tesco Ireland said; “Despite our best efforts, at the end of each day, we do end up with surplus food on our shelves, so it has been hugely rewarding to be able to turn a retail challenge into a positive output for those who need it most.”

Recognising the positive impact of the initiative, and leading the charge in tackling food waste in the retail industry, Tesco is now encouraging customers to take a look at their own ‘waste-line’ to see if they can reduce their food waste by just 1kg per week (or one bag of sugar), saving up to 114 meals* per year and also benefiting their pockets. 

Geoff continued; “Finding a solution where the benefits are twofold for both the community and the business has been a significant step forward in the way we as retailers can and should do business. We want to encourage our customers to do the same and take a look at how small changes in their own home can benefit their families as well as a global issue.”

Echoing the average waste per Irish household, refrigerated goods (23.1%) and fresh fruit & vegetables (17%) top the list in terms of surplus food, delivering the highest levels of waste across Tesco stores last year. Through the use of the FoodCloud App, Tesco can now ensure that this food goes to the communities and people that need it most.

Orla Gilroy, CEO of Daisyhouse, a housing charity in Portobello, Dublin, providing temporary housing to people experiencing homelessness said; “We were an early partner with FoodCloud and Tesco and the difference it has made to our residents is terrific! The food brings the women who live with us together and we’ve seen strong friendships develop as they swop and share food and recipes. It’s great to come into the centre after a delivery and hear the laughter in the room, not only does this service assist in terms of cost, but it’s brought our residents whether new or long term together creating lifelong bonds.”

Top tips to help customers take the “Watch your Waste-Line” challenge from the Tesco Health & Wellbeing team include:

 

‘Watch Your Waste-Line’ Challenge

 

  • Bananas: Keep them fresh by covering the stem of a banana bunch in plastic wrap. This is because most of the natural ethylene gas that bananas use to ripen themselves is released from the stem.
  • Potatoes: You can stop potatoes from sprouting by storing them with apples! Apparently the low levels of ethylene gas that an apple omits can help to prevent sprouting.
  • Bread: For a loaf of bread on the turn, sprinkle with water & pop in the oven for a few minutes – voila, warm crusty bread perfect for dipping in soup! Alternately, slightly stale bread is perfect for toast or bread and butter pudding.
  • Asparagus: Store your asparagus like you would flowers, in a jar or small vase, to make them last longer and to use across a few meals.
  • Cheese: Don’t despair if that block of cheese is going hard, just grate for use in your favourite pasta or chilli dishes!
  • Salad: Sad looking salad leaves? Simply let the cells rehydrate by soaking the salad leaves in ice water for a couple of hours and hey presto – you’ve got good-as-new salad leaves.
  • Tomatoes: Storing your tomatoes in a fridge? Don’t – keeping them in a fridge can dry them out. Instead, place the tomato facing stem down on a flat surface. This helps reduce loss of moisture.

Take the ‘Watch Your Waste-Line’ challenge and see how small changes can make a big difference – Every Little Helps!

 

Share your age-old food saving tips with others @TescoIrl #WatchYourWasteLine