PRESS RELEASE, 19 September 2018
Giving platform Neighbourly has today put out a call inviting charities, food projects, schools and community groups to join its free food surplus redistribution scheme. Neighbourly is the redistribution partner to retailers and manufacturers including Marks & Spencer, Lidl and Danone.
Through the Neighbourly platform, the equivalent of more than 7.5 million meals has been distributed to over 1,500 charities and community projects in local communities across the UK and Ireland.
Now Neighbourly is extending the scheme to more communities whose residents and families are suffering from food poverty and insecurity. The latest research from WRAP shows that food redistribution from commercial sources (retailers, manufacturers and hospitality and food services businesses) has increased by 50% in just two years but that there is potential for increased redistribution. One of the things that is needed for this to happen is for more charities to be aware that this resource is available to them and join up to benefit from the scheme.
Neighbourly’s own research – from surveying its food surplus recipients – shows just how important receiving surplus is to them. On average, charities reported that they save an estimated average of £161 a month through these food donations and 90% find the Neighbourly food surplus schemes beneficial or extremely beneficial.
Food surplus available for daily collection includes fruit and veg, bakery products and ambient food (food which can be safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container). It is also possible for charities to collect chilled items from some stores - dairy, meat, fish, chilled drinks and packaged ready meals, as long as they can meet certain criteria for safe collection, transportation and storage of chilled goods.
“While the Neighbourly platform has distributed the equivalent of more than 7.5 million meals over the past three years, it’s imperative that we keep building knowledge across the sector that this valuable resource is available” Nick Davies, Neighbourly’s founder, added. “We invite charities of all shapes and sizes to join, from small community groups right through to larger charity networks, who in particular are able to put chilled items to good use. So much of the food surplus supply chain is as yet untapped. The Neighbourly food surplus scheme is free and easy for charities and community food projects to get involved with, so we encourage them to sign up.”
To sign up to receive food surplus, charities and not-for-profits should to register with Neighbourly or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups must have a food hygiene certificate in order to collect the surplus.
Chilled food donations criteria
In order to collect chilled food donations (meat, fish, dairy, ready meals, chilled drinks), charities must be able to meet the following criteria:
- Level 2 (or equivalent) food hygiene certificate and/or FSA rating (4 stars or above) certified no longer than 2.5 years ago
- Cool-boxes or cool-bags or refrigerated vehicles for transportation of donated items
- Fridge/freezer space for immediate storage at premises