Co-op hits a million meals

19th December 2016

16 December

The Co-op has pledged to provide 100,000 more meals to good causes in the run-up to Christmas after the retailer reached its target to supply a million meals to people in need during 2016, by partnering with FareShare to redistribute their surplus food.


The Co-op has been supplying a range of chilled surplus food items such as yoghurt, meat, fruit, vegetables and ready meals to FareShare, via its nine distribution depots. FareShare then passes the food on to local charities and community groups who transform it into meals for vulnerable people.


The volume of Co-op surplus food redistributed from January to November 2016 is 467 tonnes, which equates to 1,100,000 meals.  With two weeks to go until the end of the year, the Co-op will redistribute an additional 42 tonnes, which equates to another 100,000 meals – taking the total to 1.2 million.


Over a thousand charities and community groups have received Co-op food through FareShare this year, including children’s breakfast and after school clubs, youth centres, hostels and supported housing for people suffering from homelessness, community cafes, older people’s services to tackle social isolation, food banks, and family and children’s centres.


Steve Murrells, Chief Executive – Retail, at the Co-op, said: “We’re thrilled to have reached more than a million meals, but there’s still time to get beyond that figure and make a really big difference to help feeding vulnerable people, particularly at this time of year.  Our ultimate long-term ambition on redistribution is that no food fit for consumption goes to waste.”


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 have been supported by FareShare Merseyside since 2012, serving their beneficiaries with food and clothing, which is also provided by the FareShare Regional Centre.  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 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”.

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