Lidl Ireland, along with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, has signed the Food Waste Forum Charter as part of the Retail Action Group for Food Waste. This charter sees Lidl commit to reduce food waste through the redistribution of surplus food.
In line with the launch of the forum, Lidl has rolled out a national food redistribution programme called Lidl Feed It Back to all 154 stores and 3 warehouses in Ireland which will see food waste reduced through the donation of surplus food to local charities in the community. Surplus food refers to food that is perfectly good to eat but for one reason or another, cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste. In the case of Lidl Feed It Back, half of all donations made to local charities are fresh fruit and vegetables, meaning that the meals donated to charities and community groups across Leitrim by Lidl are healthy nutritious meals for those that need it most. In Leitrim, over 3,000 meals have been donated to local charities and resulted in over 4,100 in savings for these charities and community groups.
Since August 2017, Lidl has been working with the social enterprise FoodCloud to establish the Lidl Feed it Back network of charities to donate surplus food. Lidl stores connect to hundreds of charities every day to redistribute food via a software platform. Through this partnership, Lidl is working with over 250 charities and donated more than 250,000 meals since the launch in August.
Tony Scanlon of Boyle Family Resource Centre thanked the staff at Lidl Carrick on Shannon, saying that the money saved from the surplus food donations had made a massive impact on the day to day running of the charity: "Boyle Food Partnership is a community based initiative designed to tackle and alleviate hidden poverty in our locality. Food donated by Lidl is shared with individuals and families experiencing economic disadvantage.
"These donations make such a difference to members of our community both young and old and the food donated is of the highest quality. Lidl have been superb in their professionalism. The management and staff in Lidl Carrick On Shannon have been courteous beyond belief to us as partners. On behalf of the community we would like to thank Lidl for their commitment to this initiative."