Coca-Cola has announced a new partnership with FoodCloud in the Republic of Ireland and with Fareshare in Northern Ireland, and more recently has teamed up with Tesco Ireland, to donate meals to communities in need this Christmas.
FoodCloud is a not-for-profit social enterprise working to tackle the twin issues of food waste and food security.
These issues are addressed by redistributing surplus food from the food industry to a network of over 750 community groups across the Republic of Ireland.
To date, FoodCloud has helped to ensure that 143 million meals are not wasted and have gone to people in need.
Suzanne Delaney, development director of FoodCloud said, “As Covid-19 continues to take its toll, the demand for support for food within communities all over Ireland, also continues to grow."
'Win a Meal, Give a Meal’
In addition to a donation of €25,000 to FoodCloud to support the redistribution of 75,000 meals, Coca-Cola said that the partnership with Tesco Ireland and FoodCloud will give consumers a chance to ‘Win a Meal, Give a Meal’.
The soft drinks giant explained that when in store over the Christmas period, shoppers will be in with a chance to win a meal out, and for every entry received, Coca-Cola will donate a meal to those in need.
This is in addition to the 400,000 soft drinks that they have donated during the year.
“Coca-Cola has always been part of what makes Christmas magical and this year they’re continuing to spread that Real Magic, especially to those in need," said Tom Burke, corporate affairs and sustainability director, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In Ireland today 1 in 14 people still experience food poverty, and 1.27 million tonnes of food are thrown away by Irish consumers and businesses every year.
Fareshare is directly tackling food poverty in Northern Ireland by collecting surplus food from industry and redistributing it to charities that provide meals to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including low-income families, senior citizens, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, at risk young people, and homeless people.
The Northern Ireland warehouse has been operating successfully for over six years and last year provided 87 charitable projects, located in Belfast, Derry, Antrim, Ballymena, Armagh and Cookstown, with enough food for over half a million meals.
“Now more than ever we need to ensure that those in need aren’t forgotten this Christmas, and Coca-Cola are playing a vital role in tackling food poverty in Northern Ireland with this partnership," commented Méabh Austin, development manager, FareShare NI.
To support those in need this Christmas in Northern Ireland, Coca-Cola said that it is is donating £5,000 to Fareshare, which will fund up to 75,000 meals for those in need. This is in addition to the 100,000 soft drinks Coca-Cola has supplied to Fareshare during 2021.
Rosemary Garth, communications director, Tesco Ireland added, “At Tesco we believe that it’s simply not right that perfectly edible surplus food should go to waste when there are people in our communities who need it."