Aldi, Marks and Spencer, Lidl and Sainsbury’s have redistributed over 2.6 million meals to communities in need over the festive period as part of their ongoing partnership with Neighbourly.
The community engagement platform helped deliver more than 1,000 tonnes of surplus food donations over the Christmas weeks, making sure they reached the network of local causes and community organisations.
Neighbourly works with businesses and volunteers to ensure that all food donated is directed to a range of relevant local causes including foodbanks, youth charities, community cafes and community fridges, helping to support people in difficult circumstances and build strong communities.
“Although food redistribution isn’t a long-term solution to food insecurity, food banks and other frontline community organisations are providing an essential lifeline for people in need of urgent support,” said Neighbourly’s CEO Steve Butterworth.
“Generosity from all kinds of businesses has been essential in enabling people and communities to survive – and we’re immensely grateful to our business partners for their close-knit working with local communities.
“We need businesses, policymakers and individuals alike to step up their support for local causes. Ultimately, we need the number of meals delivered across the UK to drop – not increase – to really show that food poverty and inequality is being tackled.”
Results from last year’s Neighbourly community survey highlighted the increasing need for food donations, with 31% of organisations stating that access to healthy food was the biggest issue facing their local community.