App stops over 16,000 meals going to waste in Milton Keynes

A partnership between a voluntary group and major supermarket chain has made this waste management possible.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:56 am

In Milton Keynes, 16,765 meals didn't go to waste in the past year, thanks to a partnership between Tesco and food-sharing app, OLIO.

In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with OLIO, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community.

Volunteers who helped coordinate this food saving project are referred to as 'Food Waste Heroes'.

Olio

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so, and they can then take it back to their homes.

These items are immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be redistributed free to those living nearby and to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up from

an agreed, contact-free collection point.

OLIO, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals to charities and community groups across the UK, with more than 5 million coming from Tesco.

Claire De Silva, Tesco head of communities, said: “Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations.

“For our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste nationally shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes.”

Tesco also has an ongoing food collection scheme with FareShare, which works with other not-for-profit organisations to supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that

would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.

“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste

and supporting communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”