We’ve hit our target to redistribute one million meals to good causes this year. But in true Co-op style, we’ve decided to do much more, and have pledged another 100,000 meals to good causes in the run-up to Christmas.

We do this by donating surplus chilled food items (yoghurt, meat, fruit, vegetables and ready meals) to FareShare, the food redistribution charity, via its nine depots. FareShare then passes the food onto local charities and community groups who transform it into meals for vulnerable people.

We’ve donated 467 tonnes of surplus food between January and November this year, which makes 1,100,000 meals. And we’ll now redistribute an additional 42 tonnes – another 100,000 meals before Christmas – taking the total to 1.2 million meals.

Through this partnership, we’ve given food to 1,094 charities and community groups via FareShare this year. This includes:

  • Children’s breakfast and after school clubs
  • Community cafes
  • Family and children’s centres
  • Food banks
  • Hostels and supported housing for homeless people
  • Older people’s services to tackle social isolation
  • Youth centres

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said:

“Co-op’s food has enabled us to step up our ability to tackle hunger on the frontline and is lifting people out of poverty and isolation across the UK every day. The meals they provide are a lifeline”.

South Liverpool VIP is a charity that has been supported by FareShare Merseyside since 2012, providing their service users with food and clothing, which is provided by FareShare. Centre Manager Vicky Holmes said:

“Our partnership with FareShare has enabled South Liverpool VIP to not only provide welcoming lunches for older people using food from the Co-op, but it has also helped to boost the confidence and self-esteem of our volunteer staff, encourage new friendships within our service users and helped us to combat the loneliness and isolation that older age can bring to many older people”.

As well as redistributing food from depots, we’re also trialling a number of different initiatives to redistribute food from our stores, so watch this space.