Replenish said that it wanted to stop waste going to landfill and also to provide a good meal to people in need.
Sainsbury's and Midcounties Co-operative Society are the first retailers to sign up to the scheme. The charity wants other retailers to take part and aims to set up similar projects around the UK.
"This is a movement in its infancy," a spokesman for Replenish said.
The charity has also launched the National Association of Food Banks to spread the word and encourage the growth of food banks.
Another part of its remit would be to lobby for the relaxation of food safety laws to make it easier for retailers to donate food, it said.
FareShare, the UK's largest charity involved in redistributing unwanted food from supermarkets, welcomed Replenish's launch.
"We will be contacting Replenish to see how we can help them develop their initiative in that area," said FareShare chief executive Tony Lowe.