Tesco homeless WC

Tesco is set to distribute 19,000 meals, 21,000 bottles of water and 3,500 bananas, as sponsors of the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow this summer.

All homeless, the 512 players - representing 64 scratch teams from 52 countries - will be provided with meals three times a day at the week-long tournament, in a joint initiative between Tesco and FareShare announced last week. 

A Tesco Community Champion will also provide a guide for each team around Glasgow.

Tesco staff have raised much of the money to pay for the food and water but a proportion is coming through Tesco’s Community Food Connection initiative, linking with food redistribution charity FareShare through its FoodCloud programme.

FoodCloud, which Tesco became the first retailer to trial last June, has now been rolled out to 250 Tesco stores and will be in 800 by the end of this year and all stores by the end of next year. 

It works by allowing the retailer to connect with local charities at the end of each day to tell them what surplus, in-date food it has available to enable that food to be redistributed to them. 

Since it started working with FareShare three years ago Tesco has been sending surplus food direct from supply chains, distribution centres and dotcom centres and its Community Food Connection programme has now donated enough food for over 100,000 meals for more than 500 charities and community groups. These include homeless shelters, substance abuse rehabilitation services, after-school clubs, foodbanks and domestic violence hostels. 

“Hosting the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow is a fantastic coup for the city,” said Tesco store director Paul McCarter. 

“Our Community Food Connection programme already ensures unsold food is used by those who need it most so when the opportunity came up to feed the teams at this fantastic event, we were only too happy to come on board.” 

Head of FareShare Scotland Gillian Kynoch said: “The tournament empowers and inspires homeless people to change their lives through the power of football. We are proud to be collaborating with Tesco to support the event.”

The event will see 48 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams from 52 countries compete in Glasgow from 10 to 16 July. 

“This is a remarkable gesture from Tesco, working in partnership with FareShare,” said tournament co-founder Mel Young. “The logistics of bringing players, coaches, and support staff, as well as the hundreds of volunteers together in Glasgow is significant, and the operational set-up of providing healthy meals three times a day is such a vital part of that.

“For Tesco to be providing absolutely everything, as well as all on-site water, is a hugely generous commitment, which makes our efforts to talk about the key issues of homelessness and social inequality that bit easier.”

See also: How to pledge your support for our campaign

See also: Sales of new Perfectly Imperfect fruit & veg ‘flying’ at Tesco

This article is part of our major Waste Not Want Not campaign, which you can read more about here.