Food Waste Heroes in Lincolnshire have helped to prevent more than five million meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and OLIO.
In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with the food sharing app, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from being thrown away.
In the first full year of the partnership OLIO’s network of more than 3,700 Food Waste Heroes across the UK helped to save 5.6 million meals from Tesco stores, with more than 72,000 people able to put the food to good use for themselves, their families and others in their local communities. In Lincolnshire, OLIO Food Waste Heroes have now shared 95,506 meals through the app.
The partnership builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.
That scheme, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals of food to charities and community groups across the UK.
FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children – from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens, and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.
OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes.
The items are then immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up, from an agreed, contact-free collection point.
Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.
“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”