Lidl Ireland has partnered with FoodCloud to donate one million meals to a range of charities across the country all geared towards feeding the most vulnerable people and cutting down on food waste at the same time.
The retailer pledged to meet the target by 2020 during an event recently where new food ambassador Yvonne Connolly launched the expansion of the FoodCloud collaboration.
FoodCloud and FoodCloud Hubs is a social enterprise that connects retailers and suppliers to hundreds of local charities to redistribute surplus food via a software platform.
The initiative will see all 152 Lidl stores and three warehouses in Ireland partner with hundreds of charities who will benefit from surplus food.
Lidl Ireland says it has stepped up its anti food waste targets as statistics show one in eight people in Ireland experience food poverty. The FoodCloud roll-out is one of 24 targets set by Lidl as part of its “Origin Green” strategy, a sustainable development programme, developed for the Irish food industry by Bord Bia.
Lidl Ireland says it’s currently the only retailer partnered with FoodCloud to be a verified member of this programme and it also has targets in other areas like waste, emissions, energy, water, responsible sourcing of products, health and nutrition and social sustainability.
The redistribution of surplus food allows charities to relocate funding, that would otherwise have been spent on food, towards their core service and support their underlying mission.
“The roll-out of a national food redistribution programme supports our objective to reduce food waste and positively contribute to the communities in which we operate,” says Deirdre Ryan, head of Corporate social responsibility for Lidl Ireland.
“Working with FoodCloud enables Lidl to connect with hundreds of charities across Ireland and support them in a meaningful way. The feedback we have received to date has been fantastic and our store teams are extremely engaged with the project.”
Iseult Ward, co-founder and CEO of FoodCloud, adds how Lidl is pivotal in the anti food waste movement and helping reach so many charities across Ireland.
“Each Lidl store is making a big difference to local charities and the food supplied is having a positive impact both on the people who receive the food and the charities who can spend funds on other important elements to help people.
“Each food donation represents a financial saving to the charity and a positive boost to our environment by reducing waste. Lidl Ireland will help us reach more communities and charities and we look forward to working with their local stores across Ireland.”