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Whitbread dishes up half a million meals to nation’s most in-need

1 Dec 2020 Brand, Sustainability

Af 001 Fareshare Premier Inn Whi Copy

Whitbread, today on Giving Tuesday (01 Dec) reveals it has diverted surplus food equivalent to over half a million meals to charity in 2020 as part of its longstanding Force for Good sustainability programme.

The food provision is one of the ways Whitbread is working to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in food waste by 2030, alongside working with suppliers and operational teams to reduce waste at all points in the supply chain – from dish development to leftovers.  

The target is the biggest in the UK’s budget hotel sector. 

The majority of food – comprising over 200 tonnes and enough to provide a meal for everyone living in a city the size of Edinburgh* – is going to food redistribution charity FareShare as part of its partnership with the organisation, but other charities partners across the UK will also benefit from donations. 

The food – excess stock which would have otherwise gone to waste – will help support thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable people as the country continues to navigate through the Coronavirus crisis. 

A vast array of foodstuff has been diverted to FareShare – from steaks to fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs and cheese – for redistribution through the organisation’s network of 11,000 frontline charities nationwide. Projects receiving surplus food from Whitbread, via FareShare, include homeless shelters, community centres, school breakfast clubs and food banks.  

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.” 

The news was welcomed remotely by long-time brand ambassador Sir Lenny Henry, who most recently hit the airwaves for Premier Inn in Autumn. 

Sir Lenny, a long-time advocate of FareShare, said: “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.  

The news represents Whitbread’s latest move in continuing to play its’ part in the fight against COVID-19. 

During the crisis the firm has made rooms available exclusively for the use of key workers and freed up its logistics network in order to help support supermarkets make food available where it’s needed most. 

In addition, its teams raised a stunning £100,000 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity during the first national lockdown.

*National Records of Scotland data

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