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Lidl Ireland and FoodCloud run Nationwide Food Appeal

Between Thursday 17th and Sunday 20th September 2020, Lidl Ireland are supporting a food initiative by FoodCloud called ‘Food For Ireland’, to help meet the unprecedented demand on FoodCloud’s services from charities and communities across Ireland affected by Covid-19. Across the four days, shoppers can donate much needed non-perishable food which will then be redistributed directly to charities across Ireland who have highlighted a shortage.

At Lidl, we take the issue of food poverty seriously and have been working with FoodCloud since 2017 to help redistribute over 2 million meals to our local communities across Ireland. FoodCloud are an Irish social enterprise with a vision for a world where no good food goes to waste. They connect food businesses with surplus food to charities and community groups around Ireland who can use it, reducing both the environmental and societal impact of food waste.

Since Covid-19, our network of more than 250 charities and community groups, from disability support services to homeless charities, have come under increased pressure on resources. The food items that are needed most include: breakfast cereals, cooking sauces, hot drinks, rice and pasta, tinned soups and beans and tinned fruits including tomatoes. This is a collaborative action between various stakeholders in the food industry and the general public coming together to help meet the current shortfall for food with a target of 120 tonnes food.

Over the last few weeks, Lidl has written to suppliers encouraging signing up to the appeal and Lidl colleagues have been volunteering to help glean additional harvest for charity. Over the next few weeks Lidl colleagues will be volunteering in the FoodCloud Hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway to help sort the incoming food before being sent to charity nationwide.

Research on the increased demand for food:

Research carried out among 121 of FoodCloud’s charity partners identified a 70% increase in demand for food as a result of Covid-19. The research found that there are three groups within society most affected by the gap in supply of food; those over 65 years of age (49%), single parents (36%) and people with mental health concerns (30%).

The research also established the cause of this surge in demand for food with the majority (77%) citing the impact of Covid-19 on household income and the financial pressure as a result of loss of income, 33% referenced the closure of schools and access to meals and snacks for kids, and 37% said it was a result of self-isolation with many of whom could afford food, but could not access it due to the on-going restrictions.

FoodCloud CEO Iseult Ward said:

“No-one should go hungry during the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the reality is there are hundreds and thousands of vulnerable families and people in communities across our Island who cannot get access to food. Whilst tackling the environmental issue of food waste remains critical to our core climate objectives, we are now calling again on people of Ireland to work collectively for the greater good of society. We are in uncharted territory and although we may not be able to do all that is necessary, we must try and do all that is possible.” Ward continued, “This initiative shows how business can be at the forefront of leading social change providing a lifeline to those who need food the most”.

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