A Milestone 200 Million Meals Donated Through Neighbourly

7 June 2024

When we launched our surplus food redistribution service in 2015, we had a simple but ambitious goal - to make it easy for businesses to donate their surplus food to those in need close by, rather than see it go to waste. Nearly nine years on, we've grown that initial vision into a nationwide network matching businesses with unsold food to thousands of local charities, community centres, food banks and other organisations working to fight hunger and food insecurity. This week we saw our 200 millionth meal donated through the programme.

From those first tentative surplus pickups in 2015, the Neighbourly food redistribution programme has grown at an incredible pace. We went from facilitating 100,000 meal donations in our first year, to over 1 million meals by 2017, 5 million the year after that, and have seen donations multiply year-on-year. Reaching this 200 millionth meal marker is a testament to the power of businesses and communities working together towards the common goal of reducing food waste while getting good surplus food to those who need it most.

This accomplishment represents 200,000,000 individual moments of helping put food on the table for someone struggling with food insecurity. It's 200 million parts of making good use of food that would have otherwise been thrown away. And it's 318k tonnes of CO2 saved in the process.

None of this would be possible without the incredible work and commitment of our food donors and charity partners. Our gratitude goes to the thousands of store teams across the country from businesses like M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Pret, Southern Coop and GAIL’s, who’ve made donations through Neighbourly's platform. From the smallest cafe to the largest supermarket, each and every donation has made a difference.

And to our network of amazing charitable organisations - food banks, soup kitchens, community centres, youth charities, shelters, schools and many more - thank you for being on the front lines, day in and day out, getting this food out to your communities. 

As we mark this incredible 200 million meal moment, we also look ahead to the important work still to be done. Food insecurity remains widespread, good food continues to be wasted, and the effects of climate change make reducing food waste all the more critical. Neighbourly will continue to grow our food redistribution programme, adding more donor businesses and recipient organisations to our nationwide food recovery network, whilst we also call for key policy changes that could facilitate redistribution on an even greater scale.

We hope you'll join us in this mission, and in our wider goal to deliver £1bn of impact in the UK & Ireland by 2025. Together we can build more sustainable communities where no good food goes to waste.