Cargill, an ingredients company with a presence in 67 countries, committed to support FareShare, the food distribution charity, for the next three years by providing 900,000 meals to community projects in the north west of England.
Tesco, meanwhile, said it will provide the “equivalent” of seven million meals a year to more than 1,000 charities across the UK. The supermarket chain, which has a large presence in China, will divert surplus fresh food from its distribution centres, which it expects to amount to more than 2,300 tonnes.
The two pledges came following the release of FareShare figures on hunger in the UK, which showed 60% more people were turning to charities for food.
According to group corporate affairs director at Tesco, Rebecca Shelley, the company will provide foods such as chicken, peppers, apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables through its commitment. “Our scale puts us in a unique position to make a difference, so we’re building on our relationship with FareShare and, through them, we will be giving all our surplus fresh food to those who need it most. This will provide seven million meals for people in the UK and will also help us to tackle food waste,” she said.
UK representative for Cargill, Martin Douglas, said: “As a global company, we believe everyone should have access to a steady supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food. We partner with organisations that help us to meet this challenge and FareShare does just that and more. We are proud to be supporting FareShare for another three years and making sure that those charities and organisations that receive the food are able to continue to support local people that are most in need.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “For the first time ever, we are supporting more than 1,000 frontline charities in the UK. Our partnership with Tesco will enable us to provide even more high-quality, nutritious food to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“Thanks to Cargill’s continued support, we’ll be able to help meet some of that demand by providing local soup kitchens and breakfast clubs with good-quality, nutritious food.”