Morrisons turned away thousands of pasties because the delivery van turned up to the supermarket a quarter of an hour late.
The shocking revelation emerged in a damning report exposing the scale of food wastage in the UK. The report reveals that a food bank in Cornwall was offered the pasties after they were rejected by the giant supermarket chain.
It was a fraction of the 4.3 million tonnes of surplus food produced in the country each year – much of which goes to waste even while increasing numbers of families turn to charity to feed themselves.
Don Gardner, the manager of the Camborne, Pool and Redruth Food Bank, told the inquiry: “I had 9,864 Cornish pasties [offered to me] because the lorry was seventeen minutes late to Morrisons.
“That shouldn’t happen. I was offered 30,000 spring greens the other day because they were going to be ploughed back into the field.
“I couldn’t have them because I didn’t have anywhere to put them. I was offered 10 tonnes of tomatoes from Kent because they were too big for Tesco.”
A spokesperson for Morrisons said the supermarket would investigate but could not confirm his testimony.
“We are puzzled by this claim because it’s our policy not to turn away fresh food from our depots,” he told the Daily Mail.
“We’d very much like to look at this further but it’s difficult when the report has no record of the time or location of the delivery, nor details of the supplier.”
In pictures: Food banks
In pictures: Food banks
1/4 Rising numbers using foodbanks under the Coalition
2/4 Food poverty
Almost a million people have used foodbanks in the last year
3/4 Food poverty scandal
Food bank operators report that people in low-paid work are turning up during their lunch breaks seeking help
Susannah Ireland/The Independent
4/4 The BNP have set up their own foodbanks
Nick Griffin tweeted: “For the avoidance of doubt, our BNP food banks are for indigenous Brits only. 'Minorities' all have their own (taxpayer-funded) charities.”
The inquiry, also known as the Feeding Britain report, was established to examine evidence of growing demand for food banks and recommend the creation of a new national body to address the crisis.
It called for action to speed the processing of benefits to ensure new claimants are not left for weeks without an income, stop “rip-off” companies charging higher prices to the poor and end the “scandal” which sees millions of tonnes of waste food destroyed by supermarkets and food manufacturers.
One of the report’s backers was the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who said he found it “astonishing” that so much food was being binned when hunger “stalks large parts” of the country.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said he was “more shocked” by the plight of some families reliant on food banks in the UK than a recent visit to refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo.