M&S Food, Neighbourly tie-up hits 70m donated meals milestone

M&S x Life Hub NI_Neighourly 2
Photo by Phil Magowan / Press Eye

Marks & Spencer has announced it has donated 70 million meals to local charities with long-standing food redistribution partner Neighbourly.

Since the launch of the surplus partnership in 2015, M&S have been working with Neighbourly to redistribute surplus food from store, which is too good to waste, to more than 3,000 local charities and community organisations.

M&S, Neighbourly support

To date, the partnership has supported over 4.5 million individuals, with meal donations supporting families in need, young people and those with disabilities.

Designed to tackle food waste in M&S’ stores, the partnership with Neighbourly has prevented over 30,000 tonnes of good quality food from going to waste.

This contributes to M&S’ ‘target of 100% of edible surplus food to be redistributed by 2025, as part of its ‘Plan A’ roadmap to net zero.

This year, as the cost-of-living continues to be top of mind with more people across the UK reliant on food charities to access good quality food, the partnership has seen over 13 million meals donated – the highest in the partnership to date.

M&S is expecting to exceed the number of meals donated in the weeks leading up to Christmas; over 400,000 meals were donated in the first week of December– an increase of 100,000 from last year.

Alex Freudmann, Managing Director of M&S Food, said: “Doing the right thing for the people and communities we serve has always been important to M&S, and that’s one of the reasons we launched our partnership with Neighbourly back in 2015.

“I’m delighted that we have surpassed the milestone of 70 million meals donated because its enabled us not only to tackle food waste in our stores but also ensure our delicious food, which is too good to waste, can support those in need when they need it most.

“I want to thank our incredible store colleagues for their ongoing efforts to make this partnership such a success.”

Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly said: “M&S was one of Neighbourly’s founding partners and was the first business to launch a nation-wide food redistribution scheme through the platform in 2015, alongside their local charity of the year programme.

“The surplus scheme has gone from strength to strength over the past 8 years, with the launch of new technologies that have enabled more surplus food to get out into the communities where it’s needed, building long-lasting relationships between store teams and neighbourhood charities whilst also having a tremendous positive environmental impact.

“70 million meals is an incredible milestone and is down to the hard work of M&S colleagues, their charity partners and thousands of community volunteers.

“Sadly, the cost-of-living crisis means more families than ever are relying on local good causes for food and emergency aid – particularly in the run up to Christmas, and this food is a vital resource.

Last month, M&S announced a new partnership with Fareshare, to redistribute surplus food from within its supply chain.

Working with long-term supplier 2 Sisters Food Group, M&S is donating one million freshly prepared, nutritious ready meals in the 8 weeks leading up to Christmas.