App supports food donations in Ireland

4 Jul 2014

Tesco becomes the first retailer to commit to donating all its surplus food to local charities across Ireland

Food cloud launch Aoibheann O'Brien and Iseult Ward, founders of social enterprise foodcloud and Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director Tesco Ireland

Earlier this week Tesco Ireland and foodcloud announced a ground-breaking partnership that will see all surplus food from Tesco’s 146 stores redistributed to charities and community groups through the use of foodcloud’s innovative app.

To support this initiative, foodcloud and Tesco are calling on charities and community groups from across the country that could benefit from receiving surplus fresh food products to register on foodcloud.ie. foodcloud, a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to community groups and charities, was recently set up by two young social entrepreneurs, Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien.

The announcement follows a successful foodcloud pilot programme in 18 Tesco stores, which ran from October 2013 to February 2014 and saw Tesco donate almost 60,000 meals or 27 tonnes of food to 38 charities. Since partnering with foodcloud, Drogheda Homeless Aid has been able to reduce its weekly food costs by an average of 30%.

Commenting at the launch, foodcloud CEO Iseult Ward said: "We have come up with a fast and efficient solution to bring businesses and charities within the same communities together to make sure that no good food goes to waste. The scale of our partnership with Tesco is unprecedented – on a daily basis we will now have access to all of Tesco’s surplus food to donate to the charities we work with. This is a really important partnership that will make an incredible difference to local communities. We are currently developing a national database of charities and community groups to receive this food and call on any interested groups to register on foodcloud.ie."

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Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director Tesco Ireland, said: "Even in the most efficient retail operations, there will inevitably be food surplus and we are delighted that through foodcloud’s innovative app, we will be able to donate all our surplus food on a daily basis to people that need it. We are delighted to be the first retailer to commit to redistributing all surplus food from all our retail stores and believe that through our partnership with foodcloud, we will be able to make a valuable contribution to local communities." 

John Walker, Duty Officer at Drogheda Homeless Aid, said: "The link with foodcloud has contributed to a lessening of the pressure that we would normally operate under in relation to our food services. We have been able to reduce our weekly food costs by about 30% which has freed up scarce resources for other requirements." 

In May 2013 Tesco made 'reducing food waste' one of the three big ambitions which underpin its business value "we use our scale for good." If you are a business that has surplus food or a charity that could benefit from food donations register your interest on foodcloud.ie