Eamonn Quinn, chair of the Retail Action Group, Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, J.P. Scally, managing director at Lidl Ireland, and Laura Burke, director general of the EPA, at the launch of Lidl Feed It Back.

Lidl 'feeds it back' to Mayo communities

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 three warehouses in Ireland. It 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 Mayo by Lidl are healthy nutritious meals for those that need it most.

In Mayo, over 5,000 meals have been donated to local charities and resulted in over €4,000 in savings for these charities and community groups, such as St. Vincent de Paul Ballina.

Since last August, 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.

St. Vincent de Paul Ballina thanked the staff at Lidl Ballina, saying that the money saved from the surplus food donations had made a massive impact on the day-to-day running of the charity.

“On behalf of SVP Ballina's staff and volunteers, we would like to say a huge thanks to staff in Lidl Ballina for their continued support and contribution to our organisation,” said a spokesperson. “The foods donated are of the highest quality, allowing us to add nutritious food to the hampers we distribute daily to our service users while keeping our costs down and ensuring no good food goes to waste.

“The donations make a significant difference to the communities we serve and allow our service users to create nutritious meals for themselves and their families. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lidl Ballina team for their kindness and help in-store.”