Supporting adults with learning disabilities in Ely through Community Food Connection

A local charity in Ely is helping to improve the lives of adults with complex learning disabilities, with the help of food donations from its local Tesco store.

Founded in 1994, Branching Out provides specialist work-based training to its members, in areas such as woodworking, horticulture, recycling and cooking.

The group also provides work experience opportunities at its charity shop, encouraging its members to overcome difficulties and achieve in their everyday lives. 

The charity has been receiving donations of vegetables, baked goods and eggs from Tesco since 2017, which it uses to make lunches for its members at training sessions. The group also uses the eggs to create dog biscuits, which are sold in its charity shop.

The biggest surplus food redistribution scheme of its kind in the UK, Community Food Connection sees surplus food from Tesco stores distributed to local charities and community groups.

Chris Hook, Operational Business Manager at Branching Out, says:

“We’re hugely grateful for Tesco for the surplus food. Without it, we’d have to purchase the items ourselves, which would leave us with much less budget to use on supporting vulnerable members of our community.

“We launched our charity 25 years ago, and in that time we’ve supported thousands of local people. Just recently, 500 members of the wider community came to our family fun day to celebrate our 25th anniversary with us, and it was so rewarding to see the people of Ely turn out in such a huge number to raise money for us.”

Tesco’s Head of Community, Alec Brown, said:

“We’re proud to have played a small part in the admirable work that Branching Out does for the local community.

“We firmly believe that no good food should go to waste, and our Community Food Connection scheme ensures that our surplus food is used to benefit to the local community. We look forward to receiving more applications from community groups and charities in Ely.”

If you are a charity or community group that could benefit from the support of Community Food Connection then visit to find out more.


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