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Community Food Connection

Giving our surplus food direct from local stores to charities for free

About Community Food Connection

At Tesco, we have no time for waste. We think it’s simply not right that good food goes to waste.


That’s why we’ve committed that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from our UK retail operations by the end of 2017.

We work hard to minimise the surplus in our stores, for example by reducing-to-clear food close to its expiry date. However, if food cannot be sold, we offer it to charities and community groups who help feed people in need.

Our Community Food Connection programme, delivered in partnership with UK food redistribution charity FareShare, links our stores to local charities and community groups to ensure that no good food goes to waste.

So far, we have donated enough food to provide 16 million meals to more than 6,000 charities and community groups across the UK.


Charities and community groups that offer food or meals to support their daily activities and want to benefit from Community Food Connection can register their interest here: FareShare FoodCloud.

How it works

We donate our unsold food to local charities and community groups.

  1. Store

    Tesco Stores upload estimates of their good quality unsold food to the FareShare FoodCloud app, which is on our own store devices (called "PDAs").

  2. Charity

    A local charity or community group receives a text telling them about the available food

  3. People

    The charity picks up the food they can use and turns it into meals for people in need

Community Food Connection is the latest step in our ongoing work with food redistribution charity FareShare on the provision of surplus food. The partnership started three years ago and has included activities which make food available from the Tesco supply chain, Distribution Centres and Dotcom Centres. In total this has seen nearly 16 million meals worth of surplus food supplied to charities and community groups across the UK.


Frequently asked questions about Community Food Connection at Tesco

Who is FareShare?

FareShare is the largest UK food redistribution charity, focused on fighting hunger by tackling food waste. In partnership with Tesco, FareShare has helped to develop Community Food Connection. FareShare provides the people power that ensures that charities are safely matched with a suitable store and that they are supported to get the most out of their store collections. FareShare works with FoodCloud to provide a very simple technology, meaning that charities receive text messages from their local Tesco store to alert them to their donation/collection.

Why do charities have to go through FareShare rather than going straight to the stores?

We wanted to make this really simple for charities and community groups; cutting down the legwork and amount of admin they need to go through. FareShare can centrally match the needs of the charities and community groups with the right Tesco store or stores.

What food is available?

The food is a mixture of items - typically it will be bakery products, fruit and vegetables and eggs. On occasion stores will also be able to donate chilled products such as meat, cheese and yogurt. These tend to be available in smaller quantities.

Charities will be able take items marked with a "use by" date that can be frozen on the evening of its end date. FareShare will provide training on how to do this safely, as well as providing cool boxes to maintain the chill chain during transportation.

How much food can charities collect?

Typically donations are 1-4 trays of food. Stores use the FareShare FoodCloud app to give a daily estimate to the charities so that they can decide whether they want to collect what’s available that evening.

The charities do not need to take all the surplus food – only what is useful for them.

What type of organisations are we looking for?

It’s a real mixture. We are looking for not-for-profit organisations or community groups that offer food or meals to support their daily activities.

We need to ensure that all organisations are handling the food in an Environmental Health Office (EHO) registered premises. If the charities can’t immediately meet the requirements, FareShare can provide some support in getting them to the right standards.

As well as organisations providing meals, we can also donate to those that redistribute food; such as foodbanks. However, these organisations will only be permitted to take low-risk foods, like bakery and produce.

Does the organisation need to be a charity?

No, not strictly. The organisation doesn’t have to be a charity (within the legal meaning), but it does need to be a not-for-profit organisation or community group. This simply means that it is ‘charitable’ in its approach; such as a community project like a school breakfast club.

How do we apply?

Register your interest here; FareShare FoodCloud and the FareShare FoodCloud team will be in touch.

Can customers ask for their favourite local charity to benefit from food?

We are not asking customers to nominate their favourite charities to us directly, like we have for other programmes we’ve run. But we are hoping that customers with a direct link to a charity that might benefit will encourage them to apply.

Charities and community groups should approach FareShare FoodCloud to register their interest at FareShare FoodCloud