14 March 2016 - Janet Bird
Tesco has pledged to donate all surplus food from its stores to charities that feed those in need.
The supermarket has launched its 'Community Food Connection' with the charity Fareshare, an organisation that saves good food destined for waste and sends it to local charities and community groups to be transformed into nutritious meals for vulnerable people.
By the end of 2016, Tesco intends all of its 800 plus large stores to be participating in the initiative and it wants all of its outlets to be part of the scheme by the end of 2017.
The move is the latest by Tesco to tackle the increasingly controversial subject of food waste. The retailer has already made a "farm to fork" pledge designed to reduce food waste from suppliers and it is currently the only UK retailer that publishes transparent food data from its own operations.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests 5.8 million people in the UK live in 'deep poverty', making it hard to afford essentials including food.
Fareshare say 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food and drink industry, of which they estimate ten percent is surplus and fit for consumption - enough food for 800 million meals.
Tesco and Fareshare are now calling for charities and community groups to come forward and take part in the scheme.