The UK’s biggest food charity, FareShare, is set to receive surplus food from two Waitrose distribution centres to help feed people in need across the UK and to help reduce food waste.

The distribution centres, situated in Bracknell and Leyland, will send surplus stock, such as short-dated items, to FareShare to redistribute through its network of charities and community groups.

Waitrose currently diverts surplus food to FareShare via two of its online Customer Fulfilment Centres, as well as from stores up and down the country through the FareShare Go programme. Together, FareShare and Waitrose have redistributed the equivalent of more than 6.9 million meals so far.

In March, Waitrose also launched its Farm to Family programme which has provided FareShare with surplus produce directly from its supply chain. The programme links FareShare to Waitrose suppliers and provides funding to cover all handling costs.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “Our partnership with Waitrose and John Lewis goes from strength to strength and we are delighted to be working with its distribution centres. By identifying and diverting surplus across its supply chain, Waitrose is demonstrating a commitment to reducing food waste and turning it into a social solution.

“We are immensely grateful to all Waitrose Partners – in store, at head office and in distribution centres – for their dedication to ensuring that charities across the UK benefit from top quality surplus food.”

Ben Thomas, Environment Manager at Waitrose, said: “In addition to our commitment to help UK households half food waste by 2030, we also continue to research and find innovative new ways to reduce food waste across our own operations. By linking up our largest distribution centres with FareShare’s network, over time we will be able to prevent millions of items of good to eat food surplus from being wasted and instead divert it to the people that really need it most.”

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