Asda to give all surplus food to charity in bid to relieve food poverty

FareShare will distribute milk, bread, meat and vegetables to provide  meals for the poor

One of Britain’s biggest supermarkets has resolved to donate all its surplus stock to charity.

Asda announced it would donate surplus food from within its supply chain to FareShare, which redistributes it to charities around the UK,  providing meals to some of the 5.8  million people it claims are in living in “deep poverty” in Britain.

Surplus is produced when a supplier sends a retailer more of a product than is ordered. As the store does not  own the product they cannot sell it on so they have to send it back to the supplier – by which time it is often out of date  so has to be thrown away.

In a first for British retail, Asda has committed to diverting all its surplus stock including bread, milk, meat and vegetables, to FareShare.

These donations would equate to more than three million free meals each year, according to a statement published today. That amount of food would provide a saving of £4.7m to British charities, it was claimed.

Unlike traditional food-banks, where food is handed-out to people in need to take away with them, the food redistributed by FareShare is used by various charities to cook meals for  people in need to their services.

The organisation currently provides 42,000 meals a week to 910 charities. In the past year, it has seen a 26 per cent increase in the number of charities turning to them for donations.

Asda’s contributions should increase the quantity of chilled food sent to FareShare depots across the UK by 1,500 tonnes this year, a 41 per cent increase in the total amount of all food currently redistributed. 

Lindsay Boswell, the FareShare  chief executive said the arrangement would see surplus food redistributed at “unprecedented levels undertaken by a retailer on this scale in the UK”.

He added: “We also know that there are more people turning to charities for food than at any other time in FareShare’s history. This initiative will mean we can provide more food to more charities and will enable us to feed even more people at a time of real need.

“Not only will this programme have immense environmental impact by diverting food away from the waste stream, it will also save hundreds of charities millions of pounds a year. They will be able to reinvest these savings into providing additional support services for their beneficiaries. A breakfast club will be able to help vulnerable children learn to read and a day centre will be able to invest more in employment programmes, helping people get back on track.”

Asda’s commitment will cast  scrutiny on other major supermarkets.  Sainsbury’s said it donates non-perishable goods to FareShare while  sending its unsold fresh food to be made into animal feed. Tesco said it had been developing a scheme  with FareShare redirecting food from its online stores

Morrisons said it worked with a number of organisations including FareShare and His Church to “collect and redistribute goods that can’t be sold through our stores”.

voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Java Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

SAP Functional Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £45,000 - £55,000.

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...

Javascript Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn