Avoiding food waste during COVID-19

By Tom Tanner  
While it may not be absolutely top of your list of priorities right now, we know you’d want to do everything you can to feed people and not bins, especially when many more people are struggling to put food on the table and there’s the potential for huge amounts of food going to waste.  

We have been in touch with some of Food Made Good’s redistribution supplier members and partners to get the lowdown on rescuing food from those that have closed for business or are operating a delivery service for the first time and endeavouring to get the quantities right. Here are some options available to you: 


FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste needs all the food it can get right now and could really use some extra help too.  

James Parsons, Food Supply Manager says: “We are determined to make sure we do everything we can to continue delivering vital food supplies to those in our communities who are most in need. To step up our response during the crisis we urgently require more food, funding and volunteers.” 

In fact, FareShare announced this week that it’s partnered with fellow redistributors, City Harvest and The Felix Project to form the London Food Alliance to provide an emergency response service for the capital during the coronavirus crisis. For the food required to feed Londoners in need, the Alliance will be looking to wholesalers, manufacturers, restaurants and supermarkets for surplus. So, if you’re still operating and have food that could feed vulnerable people on your doorstep you know what to do with it. For any wholefoods, or packaged foods with an ingredient line and + 3day expiry date, fill in the sheet attached and send to [email protected]. 



OLIO is now offering ad-hoc collections of surplus goods completely free of charge. If you have any prepped food, or wholefoods with a life of less than three days expiry, fill in this form, and OLIO will be in touch regarding collection. 

This network of food heroes has also launched #Cook4Kids to feed the 1.3m children missing out on school meals. Anyone can cook and prepare a free meal, upload a photo and organise a contactless handover with a local family. For more details on how to feed hungry kids click here. 

Both organisations aim to get back to you ASAP to inform you if it’s something they can take, and the logistics to do this, however, please appreciate their increased demands at present. We will update this post as we hear from more organisations able to help redistribute excess stock. 

If members of your team are able to volunteer, are based near a FareShare site or can drive, then they’d be welcomed with open arms. Call your local FareShare site. As James Parsons says: “Even one extra pair of hands in our warehouses makes all the difference!” 


Too Good To Go 

With business very much not as usual, these guys are offering restaurants switching to delivery free use of their platform – not for leftovers at the end of the day, but their entire takeaway offering. Find out more about the #SupportLocal initiative here. 


Company Shop 

These guys can buy your surplus stock and divert it to the emergency services. For more details contact either [email protected] or [email protected]. Company Shop will also be one of the recipients of the millions of pounds of fresh and frozen food left in the supply chain as a result of the hospitality sector lockdown. The British Frozen Food, Wholesale Distributors’ and Provision Trade Federations have launched an online platform to divert stock. If you’re a supplier with surplus stock click here for more information. 



Check out this handy guide to redistribution and reducing food waste during these Covid-19 times, for more details.


And finally, keen to support their much-valued suppliers and ensure their fantastic produce finds a grateful stomach, a number of restaurants are turning themselves into grocers. Skye Gyngell’s Spring is an excellent example of this. The Somerset House restaurant normally sources and serves almost all the produce from Fern Verrow in Herefordshire. From 2 April Spring will be selling the produce. 


Updates to [email protected]

Keep up-to-date on our COVID-19 advice page

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Visit the community to ask a question or call us on 020 3903 2777 

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