M&S Liverpool One - Opening Day - 37

Source: M&S

Marks & Spencer is marking the donation of 70 million meals to charities and community groups via Neighbourly since partnering with the redistribution platform in 2015.

This year alone has seen the retailer donate surplus food from stores equivalent to 13 million meals, the highest annual figure in the partnership to date. It includes over 400,000 meals donated in the first week of December.

Neighbourly distributes surplus to more than 3,000 charities and community groups local to the donating store.

M&S is one of a number of retailers to work with the platform to help those reliant on charity for food, including families, young people and those with disabilities, while also cutting food waste. Others include Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Lidl.

To date, M&S’s partnership has supported over 4.5 million people and prevented over 30,000 tonnes of good food from going to waste, according to the retailer.

“Doing the right thing for the people and communities we serve has always been important to M&S, and that’s one of the reasons we launched our partnership with Neighbourly back in 2015,” said M&S Food MD Alex Freudmann.

“I’m delighted that we have surpassed the milestone of 70 million meals donated because it has enabled us not only to tackle food waste in our stores, but also ensure our delicious food, which is too good to waste, can support those in need when they need it most.

“I want to thank our incredible store colleagues for their ongoing efforts to make this partnership such a success.”

Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth said: “M&S was one of Neighbourly’s founding partners and was the first business to launch a nationwide food redistribution scheme through the platform in 2015, alongside their local charity of the year programme.

“The surplus scheme has gone from strength to strength over the past eight years, with the launch of new technologies that have enabled more surplus food to get out into the communities where it’s needed, building long-lasting relationships between store teams and neighbourhood charities whilst also having a tremendous positive environmental impact.

“Sadly, the cost of living crisis means more families than ever are relying on local good causes for food and emergency aid – particularly in the run up to Christmas, and this food is a vital resource.”