Jamie Oliver is to front a new Tesco food waste initiative that aims to reduce the amount of food going to waste after it has been donated to charity.
Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver will teach more than 1,000 community cooks how best to use surplus food donations.
The scheme, which has been developed in partnership with redistribution charity FareShare, will help community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals out of surplus food donations.
Tesco said one of the key aims of the programme would be to help community organisations cope with unusual or unexpected ingredients and large quantities of seasonal produce, using recipes designed by Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs. The supermarket annually donates 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups.
Cooks will be given free training on areas such as knife skills, nutrition information and how to make versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated foods.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and Oliver will launch the cookery school at the Goodinge Community Centre in Islington today, with the programme to roll out across the UK throughout the year.
“Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need, but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product,” said Lewis.
“With Jamie’s help, we believe we can inspire, train and support charities to do even more with the donations they receive. Together, we can bring tasty and nutritious food to more people, in communities right across the UK.”
Oliver, who also fronts Tesco’s healthy eating initiative, said: “It’s fantastic to join the work that Tesco and FareShare are doing to reduce food waste. I’ve written these recipes to arm all those amazing community cooks with the tools to create something delicious and balanced for people who need it the most. It is all about giving otherwise-wasted ingredients some love, and transforming them into tasty, nutritious meals.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell added: “With Tesco’s support, FareShare is working with charities across the country to help feed hundreds of thousands of people in need every week.
“Most of these charities provide meals made by community cooks, who may already have lots of experience and just need some new ideas; or they could do with a really good grounding in nutrition and the scaling up of meals. In either case, the Tesco Community Cookery School is ideal for them, and will have a direct benefit in providing nutritious hot meals to vulnerable people.”