British Supermarket Chain Tesco Begins Donating Unsold Food to Charities

Grocery stores across France and the UK have adopted a donation program in lieu of throwing out unsold food

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

To begin, Tesco will launch the program at 10 of its stores in the UK.

On the heels of similar endeavors adopted by rival grocery chains Sainsbury's and Morrisons — not to mention a unanimous French parliament vote to eliminate supermarket food waste by requiring stores to donate it to charities or to feed livestock — Tesco has announced a pilot scheme to donate its unsold food to charities across Britain.

The chain, which is the largest in the United Kingdom, will launch the program across 10 locations, each of which will give away unsold food from each day to charities including women’s shelters and childcare facilities.

The 10 locations have partnered with food redistribution companies in Britain and Ireland. They will use an app to notify charities of the amount of unsold food available, and will donate it at no cost.

Over the past year, Tesco estimated that it had thrown out 30,000 tonnes (approximately 66,139,600 pounds) of food, according to Reuters.

“This is potentially the biggest single step we've taken to cut food waste, and we hope it marks the start of eliminating the need to throw away edible food in our stores,” Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said.

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