Sainsbury’s has donated its 10 millionth meal to those facing food insecurity in 18 months through its work with Neighbourly, saving 4,500 tonnes of food from going to waste.
The retailer has worked with Neighbourly since 2021 to connect all its stores with local charity partners, helping to manage surplus food donations. Through the partnership, both ambient and fresh groceries can be donated to a store’s connected charity, helping Sainsbury’s to redistribute food to those facing food poverty in local communities.
The partnership has not only prevented 4,500 tonnes of food from going to waste, but has reduced carbon emissions by over 16,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, through using the Neighbourly platform, Sainsbury’s has donated food to more than 2,500 good causes across the UK, that help four million people weekly.
In the week leading up to Christmas alone, more than 335,000 meals were provided to local charities that support over 1,227,000 people weekly across the UK, helping to support communities over the festive period.
Ruth Cranston, Sainsbury’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, says: “We have donated food to charities and community groups since 1998, but our partnership with Neighbourly has really helped us accelerate how many people we can help. We know our partnership is more important than ever with food banks facing more demand than before. Supporting the communities we serve with the rising cost of living is important to us, it’s why we are pleased to hit such a huge milestone of donating 10 million meals. We’re incredibly proud of this partnership and have worked hard in engaging our stores and they have done a great job in driving this forward. We look forward to continuing our work with Neighbourly.”
Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, adds: “Sainsbury’s is genuinely committed to local action and we’re pleased to be accelerating the scheme to help forge strong community collaboration between their stores and charity partners whilst combatting the environmental impact of wasted food. The current cost-of-living crisis means more families than ever are relying on their local community charities for food and other services, and this scheme is making a huge difference to thousands of local groups and the people they support.”
Working with Neighbourly to donate surplus food is just one of the ways Sainsbury’s is supporting those facing food insecurity. In November 2022, the retailer launched Nourish the Nation – a long-term programme designed specifically to tackle food poverty with Comic Relief.
The programme funds initiatives that help communities access balanced, nutritional and sustainable food now, as well as supporting projects that help prevent people and communities falling further into food poverty in the future. Sainsbury’s kicked off Nourish the Nation with a £3 million donation, and it follows 24 years of work with Comic Relief, in which time over £153 million has been raised.