National UK co-operative convenience retailer, The Co-op has announced a food redistribution scheme to enhance the means by which its stores support local communities and good causes. Following a trial at 60 of its stores the scheme is now to be rolled out nationally enabling all of the 2,500 towns and villages, where The Co-op has a store, to benefit. It is estimated the scheme will donate 8,500 tonnes of food a-year, enough to provide 20 million individual meals through organisations supporting the needy throughout the country.
Jo Whitfield, interim Retail Chief Executive, The Co-op, commented:
'Each of our stores will team-up with local charities and good causes in their area ... The food will be collected on a regular basis, helping those closest to home. Not only will this support local groups, but it will also dramatically reduce our food waste, as we work towards our ambition that no food fit for consumption goes to waste.'
Additional to support for FareShare programme
The Co-op already works with FareShare to redistribute food from its depots, and in 2016 redistributed enough food to make more than one million meals, helping more than a thousand local groups and charities.
'Five and one' loyalty scheme makes first charitable payout
Following the re-launch of The Co-op membership programme in September 2016, offering a 5% personal reward and 1% charitable contribution on purchases of Co-op private label products, the scheme has made it's first six-monthly charitable payout. Boosted by the proceeds of the carrier bag levy, the total paid out was £9.2 million, benefitting some 4,000 good causes nationally. Amongst the individual products providing the biggest contributions, Co-op milk was by far and away in the lead, raising £410,000 on its own.
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