The UK's biggest supermarket, Tesco, has announced a new deal with food redistribution charity FareShare, which it claims will see it provide the equivalent of seven million meals a year to over 1,000 charities across the UK.
The supermarket already has a good relationship with the charity, offering support through National Food Collections, which are held twice a year in stores across the UK.
That scheme has already enjoyed a great degree of success, with customers contributing around 5.5 million meals.
News of the partnership has coincided with FareShare releasing new figures that suggest it is currently facing record levels of demand for its services.
The 1,000 charities being served by the organisation is an increase of 15 per cent compared to just six months ago, with over 50,000 people a day coming to each one for food.
Tesco has said that its agreement to divert all of its surplus fresh food will enable FareShare to cope with such rising levels of demand. In total, the amount of food to be provided could amount to up to 2,300 tonnes a year.
As well as the provision of surplus food, the supermarket has claimed that it will provide even more support to the charity by delivering directly via its extensive distribution network.
Rebecca Shelley, Tesco Group corporate affairs director, said: “World Food Day is a timely reminder that food poverty is a growing problem in the UK and around the world. Our scale puts us in a unique position to make a difference, so we’re building on our relationship with FareShare and through them, we will be giving all our surplus fresh food to those who need it most."
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “Our partnership with Tesco will enable us to provide even more high quality, nutritious food to some of the most vulnerable people in our society."
She added that the deal would help to support charities and allow them to save millions of pounds on food bills, which can then be invested into providing additional services