NEEDY families and charities have reaped the rewards of a budget retailer’s drive to donate unwanted food to good causes.
Lidl has donated 42,085 meals to organisations helping the vulnerable across the Portsmouth area as part of the company’s ‘Feed it Back’ campaign.
Since last July, Lidl shops have redistributed 17.7 tonnes of surplus food to aid 21 projects in helping the community and reduce waste.
Among the partners supported by the scheme are includes The LifeHouse in Southsea, which holds regular soup kitchens for the homeless.
Mike Morrell, chairman of trustees at the organisation, said: ‘A great quantity of food has been received, which has not only enabled us to save on our grocery bills but also to offer unexpected treats of fruit, salad, bakery and bathroom products to those in need.
‘This summer some of the most valuable items from the Lidl stores have been split packs of breakfast cereals, bottled drinking water and vegetables - these are all hugely appreciated by us and the community.’
The initiative started in January 2017, connecting Lidl stores across the country with local charities, food banks, community cafes and soup kitchens, and has since been rolled out nationwide.
So far, just under four million meals have been provided nationally to those in need – 60,000 of which were distributed across the south coast.
Groups from across Hayling Island, Havant, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham all benefited from the initiative locally.
Lin Green, chairman of the Hayling Voluntary Services, praised the budget retail chain for its support.
She said: ’Lidl have been really excellent and very helpful. They helped us a lot, particularly so at Christmas where we made over 50 hampers, along with the holiday food group.’
Mark Newbold, Lidl’s corporate social responsibility manager for Great Britain, was delighted by the programme’s success.
He said: ‘We’re seeing just how impactful our Feed it Back network is in connecting local communities with our stores and helping to build strong relationships.
‘We are extremely proud of our store teams’ efforts to date throughout the south coast and look forward to continuing to build these partnerships across the country.’