Supermarket chain Aldi is donating surplus food to charities in Yorkshire, London, the North East, and the South East as part of a new initiative with community engagement platform, Neighbourly.
To begin with, the scheme will run in 24 of its stores, with employees collecting surplus food ready to redistribute to charities ‘up to five days a week.’
Each store is donating perishable items such as fresh fruit and veg, and baked goods as well as non-perishable items. The trial will continue until Spring with the aim of rolling out across Aldi’s entire store estate.
Last year the supermarket donated two million meals to charity and expects to increase this by 50% if the trial is extended to its 827 stores.
Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK and Ireland, said: ‘We’re always looking for new and creative ways to increase the amount of food we are able to donate. This partnership is enabling us to be even more efficient in how we distribute surplus stock, while supporting a vast range of causes, from local schools to community centres and local food banks.
‘Our aim is for fresh, healthy food to be accessible for everyone, and Neighbourly are helping us to extend this commitment beyond our affordable range of fresh products.’
Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly CEO said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Aldi on this programme and to help them realise their ambition to benefit those communities local to each and every one of their stores across the UK. Food surplus is a challenge Aldi is committed to playing its part to address. This approach is critical to ensure surplus food finds its way easily to the good causes supporting those communities that need it most.’
Due to public demand, large food retailers appear to be improving how they deal with food waste.
Last month Tesco launched a cookery school with Jamie Oliver to help community cooks better prepare food waste that is donated to charities across the country.
Tesco, who donate 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups, says one of the challenges facing community cooks is how to prepare unusual or unexpected ingredients that might be donated as well as large quantities of seasonal produce.