Bristol organisation hands out over 200 million meals to local charities

Giving platform Neighbourly has surpassed the landmark milestone of distributing over 200 million meals to local charities and community groups.

The Bristol organisation has helped millions struggling with food insecurity whilst reducing the environmental impact of food waste.

Having passed the 100m meals mark in October 2022, the doubling of this total in less than two years speaks to the growing commitment from supermarkets, cafés and other food businesses to participate in addressing the challenges of surplus and ensuring it is put to its best possible use.

Neighbourly launched its surplus redistribution programme in 2015, with a goal to make it as simple as possible for businesses to donate their surplus goods to those who needed it most in their local communities.

Since the services’ inception, that initial vision has transformed into a nationwide network matching businesses with unsold goods to local charities, community centres, food banks, schools and other community organisations, , powered by leading redistribution technology.

The scheme has so far saved over 320,000 tonnes of C02 and delivered a financial value of over £3.4m into local communities.

Neighbourly supports thousands of store teams across the country from businesses including M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Pret, Southern Coop and GAIL’s, as well as a network of over 35,000 good causes across the UK and Ireland.

Steve Butterworth, chief executive of Neighbourly, said: “To reach 200m meals redistributed across the UK is an incredible achievement for the business, our corporate partners, and the fantastic charities and community causes within the network..”

Steve continued: “Yet food insecurity remains widespread, good food continues to be wasted, and the effects of climate change make reducing food waste all the more critical. We aim to further grow our food redistribution programme, adding more donor businesses and recipient groups to our nationwide food recovery network. We’re also calling for key policy changes that could facilitate redistribution on an even greater scale, helping us in our mission to create £1 billion in positive impact for communities by 2025.”

Alex Freudmann, managing director of M&S Food said: “Doing the right thing for the people and communities we serve has always been important to M&S, and that’s one of the reasons we launched our partnership with Neighbourly back in 2015. Over the past nine years, Neighbourly has enabled our stores to develop long lasting relationships with charities at the heart of their community – not only through food donations but also volunteering and fundraising. I want to thank our incredible store colleagues and local causes for their ongoing efforts to make this scheme such a success.”