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Compass Group UK & Ireland donates over 25 tonnes of surplus food to help feed people in need

By Celena Fernandez, Head of Environment, Compass Group UK & Ireland

With many businesses across the UK required to close or reduce their operations as the result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), at Compass, we recognised that tonnes of surplus perishable food and drink were at risk of going to waste. We knew we needed to work quickly if we wanted to redistribute and donate these goods to help support the national effort, our communities, and those in need.

Together, with surplus food organisations and food safety experts, we were able to expand our networks and create an emergency procedure to help our sites donate their surplus food, instead of it ending up as waste.

In just over three weeks, teams from our Compass Group UK & Ireland sites, worked together to donate over 25 tonnes of food, –around 60,000 meals, to over 30 different organisations across the UK. This included FareShare, Plan Zheroes, OLIO, Too Good to Go, City Harvest and the Salvation Army, as well as local charities, churches, care homes, food banks, homeless shelters and community groups to help feed vulnerable people in need.

This has been a very challenging time for everyone, but I am extremely proud and grateful for the efforts of my Compass colleagues at every stage of this response. It is so rewarding to play our part as a business in supporting local communities. At Compass, we also recognise the environmental importance of this surplus food and drink not ending up as waste and it’s been great to be able to continue to stand by our commitment to reduce food waste within the UK.

In addition to these incredible site-level donations, Foodbuy, Compass’ procurement business, has donated the enormous sum of half a million pounds worth of stock to FareShare to help feed vulnerable people during this difficult time. Furthermore, Foodbuy provided 10,000 free food packages to frontline Compass employees working in hospitals and schools across the country as a way of thanking them for their great work as #HeroesofCovid19 – click here for more information on this.

Our teams across the country are continuing to look at how we can further support colleagues and local communities during these uncertain times.