Tesco’s surplus food helps school café feed its local community

Ruth Provan
Ruth Provan
Senior Technician, Bo’ness Academy

How Tesco's surplus food donations help Bo'ness Academy pupils cook food from scratch and serve their community.

The school's Community Café is very much a reflection of the community spirit that Bo'ness enjoys. Bo'ness Academy is a secondary school in the coastal town of Bo'ness, which sits on the south bank of the Forth of Firth, near Falkirk. The school prides itself on being an integral part of the local community. We run the Community Café every Wednesday using surplus food from our local Tesco store. The café brings together young and old across Bo'ness in a friendly and warm atmosphere.

Cooking Connections

Each week a group of pupils will prepare food and serve it to local residents in the café. The pupils are trained and supported by teaching staff at the academy. The café gives pupils a superb opportunity to develop valuable life skills such as preparing food from scratch and team work. There is also the added benefit of developing their communication skills with our older citizens. Many of the visitors to the café are retired and have a wealth of experience to impart on our pupils. It's an important connection for both, as they can learn from each other through simple conversations that start over a hot meal. The teamwork and communications skills gained by the pupils have been the main driving force behind the café's success. Staff at the school also benefit from the café by being able to mix and engage with the pupils and local residents over a meal.

Food from Tesco

Our Community Café project relies heavily on its strong relationship with Tesco and FareShare through their Community Food Connection programme. We receive regular updates by text message from our local Tesco store letting us know what food they may have. We then go to the Tesco store to collect the food. The pupils and teachers sort, label and appropriately store the food. The café offers a set menu each week but sometimes we can offer specials depending on what surplus food we receive. Any extra food that can't be used in the café benefits our Home Economics department to help with further teaching of food preparation. Nothing goes to waste and receiving food in this way saves us money too.

Feeding Minds and Bodies

The food provided by Tesco through Community Food Connection goes a long way towards bringing our community together. Stopping this food from going to waste not only benefits hungry stomachs, it feeds hungry minds, forges relationships and connects communities. I recommend any charity or community group to contact FareShare to see how you could benefit from Tesco's free surplus food and help them to stop food waste.

No Time For Waste

Community Food Connection currently provides over 5,000 charities and community groups with unsold food from its stores to help ensure that no good food goes to waste. The scheme has donated over 10 million meals of surplus food to people. This is part of our ongoing work to tackle food waste wherever it occurs – from farm to fork. Tesco believes that no food that could be eaten should be wasted. That’s why we’ve committed that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from Tesco UK Retail operations by the end of 2017.

Food Love Stories

The Bo'ness Community Café and their delicious 'Nothing Wasted Banana Bread' features in our latest Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco advert, which introduces a new food love story each month to demonstrate the special role food plays in peoples lives.

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