Food Waste Heroes in North Devon have prevented 1,472 meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and food-sharing app OLIO.Â
In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with OLIO, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community.Â
In the first full year of the partnership, OLIOâ€™s North Devon network of Food Waste Heroes saved food that people could then put to good use for themselves, their families and others in their communities.Â
The partnership builds on Tescoâ€™s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.Â
FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children â€“ from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens, and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.Â
OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so, and they can then take it back to their homes.Â
These items are immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be redistributed free to those living nearby and to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up from an agreed, contact-free collection point.Â
OLIO, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals to charities and community groups across the UK, with more than 5 million coming from Tesco.Â
Claire De Silva, Tesco Head of Communities, said: â€œTesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations.Â
â€œFor our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste nationally shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIOâ€™s Food Waste Heroes.â€Â
Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: â€œOur partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and weâ€™re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.Â
â€œBut our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.â€Â
Tesco has led the way in tackling food waste for many years. It has not sent any food waste to landfill since 2009, and in 2013 Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.
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