waitrose worker

Source: John Lewis Partnership

Waitrose has also doubled its annual donation to The Trussell Trust

The John Lewis Partnership is to donate £100,000 to its food redistribution charity partner FareShare, as it looks to help counter growing levels of food insecurity during the cost of living crisis.

The partnership has also connected FareShare to Waitrose suppliers Primafruit, Produce World and Dovecote, who will provide fresh fruit & vegetables to the charity using the funds from the donation. 

Collectively the efforts would ensure “thousands” of nutritional meals would reach households across the UK, including those who may be missing out on free school meals during the school holidays, the retailer said.

Citing findings from the Food Foundation, JLP said the number of children facing food insecurity had doubled to four million over the past year, while a further 9.3 million adults had been affected by food insecurity in that time. 

“The demand for FareShare food has skyrocketed as a result of the cost of living crisis, and will continue to rise throughout the summer holidays when more families rely on these vital local services to feed themselves and their loved ones,” said FareShare commercial manager Claire Kerrin.

“We’re pleased to be working with Waitrose farms and suppliers, which offers FareShare a fantastic opportunity to distribute fresh food to those who need it, at a time when millions of people are going hungry across the UK.”

The Foundation’s 2023 Broken Plate Report found deprivation led to adults consuming much less nutritious food on average compared with those with more comfortable levels of income, including fruit & veg (by 37% less), oily fish (54% less) and dietary fibre (17% less).

“Everyone has the right to good, nutritious food, the need for which extends beyond school term time,” said JLP social impact and health lead Lindsey Crompton.

“We have a long-standing partnership with FareShare and their selfless volunteers. We have worked together to divert food, donate funds and share skills with those who need it, up and down the country.”

Alongside the new donation, the partnership announced it had also doubled the annual amount it donates to food bank charity The Trussell Trust to £540,000, after seeing a 48% increase in customer donations in store.

In all, 1,156 tonnes of groceries were donated by customers via Waitrose’s network of 190 collection points. The grocer has also offered pre-packed donation bags in 31 stores since January.

“Right now many people are struggling to feed themselves and their families, so we want to help ease the pressure for those who risk going hungry this summer by working in partnership with FareShare and some of our key suppliers,” Crompton added.