With Christmas right around the corner, the festive season can be a difficult time for those in need - but supermarket Aldi has pledged to donate its surplus food to the people who really need it this Christmas Eve
Working in partnership with Neighbourly (a community engagement platform that pairs businesses and charitable organisations) 95 per cent of Aldi stores are donating surplus food up to five days a week, all year round.
Getting into the Christmas spirit, Aldi is inviting charities and community groups to be paired up with their local Aldi store to collect fresh unsold food products, like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and bread.
Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said, “Our Christmas food donation scheme is something we’re really passionate about, and we’re working with Neighbourly this year to pair as many stores up as possible.”
On the Aldi website, it explains how in 2017, they launched their Christmas Eve Donation Scheme, which “invites charities and food banks to register their interest and receive donations from their local stores”.
In 2017, 350 charities participated in the scheme across 300 Aldi stores, and 2018 saw an increase with 502 charities taking part across 500 branches. Combining 2017 and 2018, Aldi has provided over 950,000 meals to people in need.
Charity groups interested in getting involved with the scheme should have previously gotten in touch with aldi at [email protected] before Monday 11 November 2019.
Aldi said, “As Aldi stores will shut at 4pm on Christmas Eve until December 27, they will have a variety of good quality surplus food products that they will wish to redistribute in support of less fortunate individuals and to prevent food going to waste.
“Aldi is unable to deliver products so it would be essential that your organisation is able to collect.”
Are other supermarkets doing the same?
With food poverty on the rise in the UK and food waste even worse, this is what other retailers across the country are doing to tackle these issues.
Tesco runs an initiative called the Community Food Connection programme which sees the supermarket donate surplus food from its stores. Tesco informs local charities about spare food that’s leftover at the end of the day via the FareShare FoodCloud app.
Charities can then collect the food free of charge. Information and how to register your interest for this scheme can be found via the FareShare website.
The Sainsburys website explains that the “establishing food donation partners has been a great way of making a positive difference to local communities and also reducing waste”. Arrangements for food donations are made at store level, so visit your local store for more information.
Budget retailer Lidl also runs its own scheme called Feed It Back which is a “nationwide food surplus redistribution network, which connects all of our stores to good causes in their areas, such as charities and food banks”.
Feed It Back also works in partnership with Neighbourly, the same as Aldi. For more information about collecting surplus food from Lidl, get in touch with [email protected] or phone 0117 422 0755.
“None of us can afford to throw away good food. That’s why our stores give products that are going out of date to local community groups at the end of each day to prevent food waste,” the Co-op website explains.
Not for profit groups community to collecting food for the local community can apply to be part of the food share, as long they are are registered as a food premise with their local authority. Find out more about how to apply online here.
Morrisons operate their own Unsold Food Programme which sees unsold food which is still safe to eat be donated to local community groups and charities. They currently donate to over 400 organisations since the programme was initially launched in 2016.
If you’re part of a local group, organisation or charity that would benefit from these donations, you should make contact with your local Morrisons store and ask for the Community Champion or a manager.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News