Serving up 200 tonnes worth of food for UK charities

Last week, we were proud to announce that as part of our Force for Good sustainability programme, we donated over half a million meals worth of surplus food to charity in 2020.

It’s one of many steps we’re taking towards the larger goal of cutting our food waste in half by 2030, as well as working with suppliers and operational teams to reduce waste at every point in our supply chain.

While it’s a challenging target to meet – and the biggest set by a chain in the UK’s budget hotel sector –
it’s one we’re committed to achieving. 

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The majority of the 200+ tonnes worth of food will be delivered to FareShare as part of our ongoing partnership with the food redistribution charity. However other charities we’ve partnered with will also benefit from donations. The food – excess stock which would have otherwise gone to waste - will be used to help support thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable people as the country continues to navigate through a challenging 2020.

From fresh fruit and dairy products to quality steaks, we’ve managed to deliver a wide range of food to Fareshare for redistribution through the organisation’s network of 11,000 frontline charities nationwide. Projects receiving this surplus food from Whitbread via FareShare include homeless shelters, community centres, school breakfast clubs and food banks. The majority of the food will be distributed to FareShare through our logistics centres, and then onto the people who need it most via the organisation’s network of frontline charities and community groups. 

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Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO, said:

“Our partnership with Whitbread could not come at a more important time, as our army of more than 2,000 volunteers and staff continues to work tirelessly to get vital food supplies to communities most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March when lockdown measures were first introduced, FareShare has more than doubled the amount of food it distributes to over 2 million meals a week across the UK – in no small part thanks to the support of partners such as Whitbread."

“It’s not right that more than 2 million tonnes of edible food going to waste within the supply chain alone each year whilst more than 8 million people nationwide struggle to put food on the table. We are pleased to be working with Whitbread to ensure their surplus food gets to the people who need it most – now more than ever.”

Brand ambassador Sir Lenny Henry, a long-time advocate of FareShare, welcomed the news remotely, saying:

“The current crisis has brought the incredible work of food charity FareShare into the public consciousness on a national scale – and that’s an incredibly positive thing. It’s fantastic news the team at Whitbread have been able to work swiftly in order to ensure its food has not gone to waste during lockdown and will instead benefit some of Britain’s most vulnerable people by providing tasty and wholesome meals”.

The majority of the food will be distributed to FareShare through Whitbread’s logistics centres, and then onwards to the people who need it most via the organisation’s network of frontline charities and community groups it supports.

This important work with FareShare is our latest contribution to UK causes in the fight against coronavirus. Along with making our rooms available exclusively for the use of key workers, we also freed up our logistics network to help supermarkets make food available where it’s needed most. On top of this, our teams also managed to raise an incredible £100,000 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity during the first national lockdown. 

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