The UK’s biggest ever single-charity food drive – the Million Meal Appeal – has been awarded the prestigious Unilever Enhancing Livelihoods Award at the IGD Food Industry Awards. The award recognises an initiative that supported a good cause and delivered social benefits.
The award comes just days after Sainsbury's and FareShare's annual food collection broke its targets with a total of two million meals raised for over 700 local charities and projects across the UK to support vulnerable members of our communities. The Appeal encouraged shoppers to help make a difference by adding just one extra item to their shopping to 'help feed those in need' - with every meal donated matched by Sainsbury's.
The award was presented by James Simmons, VP Customer Development, Unilever UK & Ireland, who said: "Sainsbury's is showing social and industry leadership by pioneering a programme that has supported a large number of vulnerable people across the UK. It is an example of how a long standing partnership can develop to create new and innovative solutions to a genuine and current need. In a very short period of time the programme has engaged colleagues, customers, consumers and communities. In an extremely competitive field this partnership between Sainsbury and FareShare stands out through its sheer scale and future potential."
Sainsbury's CEO, Justin King, said: "We're delighted to be recognised for our long-standing partnership with FareShare. We've been working together for almost two decades to tackle food waste and help vulnerable people in our communities. Our 'Million Meal Appeal' proved to be a great way to get our customers involved by asking them to add an extra item to their shop, which Sainsbury's then matched. Last year's Appeal saw over a million meals donated by Sainsbury's and our customers, and this year's Appeal has been even more successful with around 2 million meals collected for distribution to over 700 local charities and community projects."
Lindsay Boswell, CEO, FareShare, said: "We are thrilled to be recognised with Sainsbury's for this innovative project. They have shown great leadership in developing the Million Meal Appeal enabling colleagues, shoppers and volunteers to all work together to address food poverty in the UK. After a very successful launch in 2011, with enough food for 1.2 million meals collected, the Appeal was extended to more stores and took place over two days in 2012. Enough food for an incredible 2 million meals was donated this year, meaning we can deliver even more to those who need it most, in a time of real need."
Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: "The IGD Food Industry Awards recognise the best-in-class and demonstrate some of the most exciting new thinking in our sector. I would like to extend my personal congratulations to Sainsbury's for their outstanding effort to help vulnerable people."
Sainsbury's has been working with FareShare for almost two decades to help relieve food poverty and the Million Meal Appeal is a huge boost to FareShare's work. The Appeal was created to supplement Sainsbury's ongoing and extensive food donations programme which is part of its policy to send no food waste to landfill within its normal operations. Whilst surplus food tends to be fresh produce, the Appeal focuses on long-life cupboard essentials, meaning the food FareShare supplies to its network of charities can go even further. The Meal Appeal list consisted of products such as dried pasta and rice as well as tinned food, instant coffee and tea.
Notes to editors
Business Charity Awards
Sainsbury's was awarded the 'Best Single Project Award' from the Business Charity Awards for its work with its charity partner FareShare on the 2011 "Million Meal Appeal".
BBC Food and Farming Awards
Sainsbury's and FareShare have been named as one of this year's BBC Food & Farming Awards finalists. They were selected in 'The best big food idea' category for their partnership aimed at linking people in the supply chain and customers with the mission to reduce food waste.
The Food & Farming Awards will be held at the NEC, Birmingham on Wednesday 28 November. They will be broadcast on Friday 30 November at 12.05pm in special awards edition of The Food Programme.
FareShare is a national charity fighting hunger and food waste. It does this by rescuing good quality surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and sending it to over 700 charities and community projects across the country, including day centres, homelessness shelters and children's breakfast clubs.
Last year FareShare rescued 3,600 tonnes of surplus food: