M&S offers surplus food to community groups in Northern Ireland

M&S offers surplus food to community groups in Northern Ireland
M&S has launched a new colleague app to revolutionise how it donates surplus food from stores to local charities. The new system aims to considerably increase the amount of surplus meals being locally redistributed to those in need, via the store’s charity partners. 13 February 2020 www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk All Images Copyright Paul David Drabble - All rights Reserved - Moral Rights Asserted -

M&S is looking for charities and community groups across Northern Ireland to join its food redistribution scheme.

Since 2015, M&S and Neighbourly, its food redistribution partner, have worked together to donate surplus food to local charities and community groups.

More than1.7million meals have been donated to charities across Northern Ireland since 1st March 2020.

M&S and Neighbourly developed a new app for colleagues to revolutionise how they donate surplus food which automatically notifies charity partners of anything unsold at the end of the day that can be collected from their local store. The app is used by all 585 M&S stores which has enabled many of them to more than double their food redistribution rates.

By providing charities with updates in real-time, the new app enables them to collect even more meals to feed the people they support. With the new system in place, M&S stores in Armagh and Omagh are looking for more charity partners in an effort to ensure all surplus food reaches the plates of those who need it most.

More than 49,500 meals have already been provided to charities in Armagh and Omagh and the retailer is now asking new charity partners in both areas to come forward.

With 9.5 million tonnes of food being wasted every year in homes and businesses across the UK, the programme is a key part of M&S’s Plan A initiative and aims to help reduce the environmental impact of food waste. M&S launched its Plan A initiative in 2007, becoming the first major retailer to reach carbon neutral status in 2012.

Nicola Finlay, Regional Manager for M&S in Northern Ireland said: “We’re extremely proud of our food redistribution programme with Neighbourly that helps provide meals for people in our local communities.

“Across our region there are lots of successful partnerships but with the launch of the app we’re able and eager to do more, so we are looking for charities to come forward to partner with our stores in Armagh and Omagh to help us redistribute the surplus and support our work to reduce the environmental impact of food surplus.”

Charity and community groups based in the region who would like to get involved in the food surplus programme or other charity initiatives are encouraged to email mandsfood@neighbourly.com to find out more.