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Supermarkets donating end-of-day surplus food to help East End families in poverty

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 July 2020

Tesco's community scheme in east London with food collected through FareShare redistribution charity. Picture: Andrew Parsons

Tesco's community scheme in east London with food collected through FareShare redistribution charity. Picture: Andrew Parsons

©2018 Andrew Parsons/i-Images

More than 100,000 meals have now been sent to East End charities and community groups using surplus food from the Tesco supermarket chain in the past five years.

The milestone has been reached during the pandemic with more groups signing up at their local branches for families below the poverty line.

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The food comes from stores like Bromley-by-Bow and Bethnal Green which work out what fresh products are likely to be unsold at the end of the day. It is collected through the FareShare food redistribution charity in a nationwide scheme thought to be the largest in Europe.

“The scheme is a real game-changer for those working with the vulnerable,” the FareShare charity’s chief executive Lindsay Boswell said. “It is allowing more people to get food which would otherwise go to waste.”

Groups in the East End which have signed up are among 566 charities across London getting donations from the supermarket chain now recycling 77 per cent of its daily surplus. Around 700 new groups up and down the country have signed up to receive the surplus food since the pandemic began.


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