As Waitrose extends its successful FareShare trial to 25 branches in total this month, it has today announced it will make funds and Partner (employee) volunteers available to local groups using the IT platform to collect surplus food from the retailer.
In a supermarket first, as part of the tie up, groups which collect surplus food will be offered funds from the Waitrose Community Matters (green tokens) scheme which donates money to local good causes, as well as volunteers from its shops.
Through the partnership, FareShare will help organisations make the most of Waitrose money and volunteers, to provide exactly what charities need to maximise support to vulnerable people. This could include funds to buy kitchen equipment or storage, or volunteers to help serve food – going a step beyond simply donating produce.
Since launching the trial in March in three shops initially, an equivalent of 4250 meals have been donated to 12 charities. The FareShare scheme helps shops easily communicate with local groups, letting them know what surplus food is available and when it can be collected.
Laura Strangeway, Sustainability Manager, said ‘In the five years we’ve been donating surplus food prior to these trials, we’ve found one of the main challenges is letting local charities know what food we have available for them to collect and when. And, with many local groups being very small, they can have limited resources to make the most of the food donations we can offer. The ease of FareShare – coupled with the additional equipment and manpower we’re offering – should make it much easier for groups to help many more people in the local community.’
Article source: Waitrose