Co-op lorry at FareShare

The Co-op has pledged to provide 100,000 more meals to good causes in the run up to Christmas.

The retailer has been supplying a range of chilled food items such as yoghurt, meat, fruit, vegetables and ready meals to the food redistribution charity FareShare via its nine distribution depots. FareShare then passes the food on to local charities and community groups who transform it into meals for vulnerable people.

The retailer has already reached its target to supply a million meals by redistributing surplus food.

From January to November 467 tonnes, which equates to 1.1 million meals, was distributed and it will redistribute an additional 42 tonnes (another 100,000 meals) by the end of the year.

Some 1,094 charities and community groups have received Co-op food through FareShare this year.

This includes children’s breakfast and after-school clubs, youth centres, hostels and supported housing for people suffering from homelessness, community cafés, older people’s services to tackle social isolation, food banks, and family and children’s centres.

“We’re thrilled to have reached more than a million meals, but there’s still time to get beyond that figure and make a really big difference to help feeding vulnerable people, particularly at this time of year,” said Co-op chief executive - retail Steve Murrells.

“Our ultimate long-term ambition on redistribution is that no food fit for consumption goes to waste.”

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “Co-op’s food has enabled us to step up our ability to tackle hunger on the frontline and is lifting people out of poverty and isolation across the UK every day. The meals they provide are a lifeline.”