15 Food Donation - Ben

Community impact

Food donation

Our Dulwich store donates surplus food to FoodCycle's Peckham hub to provide nutritious cooked meals for the local community.

The challenge

Food poverty in the UK is on the rise with 38 per cent more people visiting food banks in the first half of 2014/15 than the same period in the previous year. There are an estimated 4 million people in the UK today affected by food poverty.

For the last six years we have been working closely with FoodCycle, a charity that believes that food waste and food poverty should not co-exist. FoodCycle cooks nutritious three-course meals for vulnerable people at risk of hunger and loneliness, with its vital ingredients of volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces.

FoodCycle has served 125,000 three-course community meals since May 2009. We provide a steady supply of fruit and vegetables to create nutritiously balanced meals for the local community.

What we’re doing

Since February 2014, FoodCycle has been using surplus food from our nearby Dulwich store for its Hub in Peckham, South London. Over 200 local volunteers have given 1,114 hours of their time in that period, serving over 800 meals from 1,756 kgs of surplus food, almost all of which has been supplied by our store.

We’re committed to reducing waste across everything we do and donating surplus food to charities local to our stores, both reduces the amount of food that ends up in anaerobic digestion, and provides a much-needed resource for local charities.

Mary McGrath, Chief Executive Officer, FoodCycle, said: “Sainsbury's was the only supermarket that donated surplus to us when we first started cooking in 2009 - and consequently led the way for the other supermarket chains to follow. FoodCycle plans to grow from 20 hubs to 50 in the next five years, and we look forward to our relationship with Sainsbury's blossoming further as we develop. Thank you to all the Sainsbury's staff that have put time and effort into donating surplus food and for helping FoodCycle do its essential work.”

FoodCycle: building communities through food from FoodCycle on Vimeo.

What's next?

At the moment, 11 of our stores are supporting 14 FoodCycle Hubs and we’re encouraging more to follow suit and support the charity's expansion plans. In fact, we have been donating surplus food to charity for over 10 years, and were also a founding partner of FareShare in 1994, helping to redistribute surplus food. Across our stores we now have hundreds of partners and we’re always on the lookout for more.