Following the success of Tesco’s partnership with social enterprise FoodCloud, founded by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien, other major Irish retailers have signed up to use the service to distribute surplus food to worthy charities and projects.
While Ward could not confirm names of the new retailers signing up to FoodCloud, she told the Sunday Independent that the company is working with 335 charities nationwide, including the Simon Community, St Vincent de Paul and Focus.
FoodCloud’s work with Tesco, which began last July, has seen the retailer distribute surplus food from its Irish outlets to local charities and community kitchens, and has also led to pilot projects with Tesco stores in the UK.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Ward, who has been named one of Time magazines 'Next Generation Leaders', commented; “Over the last 12 months we've really developed the infrastructure across the country. It's been fantastic to have the opportunity to work with the largest retailer to develop these kinds of systems and our model.”
As of last week, FoodCloud, which was recently presented with the Industry Innovator award at the 2015 Checkout Best In Fresh Awards, is operating in all 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland, to both reduce supermarket waste and provide meals for those in need.
Orla Gilroy, the CEO of Daisyhouse, a charity that provides temporary housing to the homeless, praised the initiative as making a “terrific” difference to its residents.
“The food brings the women who live with us together and we've seen strong friendships develop as they swap and share food and recipes. It's great to come into the centre after a delivery and hear the laughter in the room,” she told the Sunday Independent.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.