Tesco is supporting a new food waste initiative in Kenya based on its Community Food Connection service in the UK.
The retailer has joined forces with global produce supplier Flamingo on the project, which will see surplus food from packhouses turned into soup to distribute free of charge to schools.
Tesco said a successful pilot launched in March had now been extended to two schools in Naivasha and was feeding 2,000 children a day.
It will soon be rolled out to a wider area with the aim of feeding more than 5,000 children daily by January.
The supermarket giant is also in talks with Flamingo about rolling the scheme out at packhouses in Peru, Guatemala and Morocco.
Community Food Connection sees surplus food from Tesco stores donated daily to local charities and community groups. More than 77 million meals have been donated to more than 7,000 charity and community groups from Tesco stores and distribution centres.
“Tackling waste at farm and packhouse level is a big challenge and we’re pleased to be able to partner with Flamingo in Kenya to support them to reduce food waste and help turn their surplus food into school meals,” said Tesco CEO Dave Lewis.
Flamingo Produce MD Ian Michell added: “Inevitably we have some food waste in our packhouses and so we’re really pleased to be able to put this food to good use by making soup to donate to local schools. The feedback we’ve received from teachers, parents and children is really positive.”
Rosalin Wafula, headteacher of Maua school in Naivasha, said: “Many pupils might only have one meal a day so the soup has created a sense of equality, improved the children’s confidence and led to a reduction in absenteeism.”