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Where and how can I donate my surplus food?

Got surplus food and want to feed bellies not bins? 

Below is a list of organisations who can receive and use, or otherwise help with, donations of surplus food. Some of these organisations are active only in London, while others operate in various regions throughout the UK.  For more information please visit the websites of the relevant organisation.

City Harvest collects nutritious surplus food from all segments of the food industry including restaurants, grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers, hotels and caterers.

Community Food Enterprise is a social enterprise. They collect surplus food and redistribute it to community groups in East London. CFE greatly needs surplus tinned fruit, cereal, coffee, cooking oils – fruit and vegetable donations would also be appreciated. They are always looking for volunteers.

DayOld is a food surplus social enterprise tackling food waste and food poverty. DayOld sells surplus baked goods (from brownies to cinnamon rolls to artisan loaves of bread) through treat boxes, office pop-ups, and event catering. Their baked goods are surplus, collected from artisan bakeries the previous day, preventing them from going to waste. Their profits become cash donations to charities addressing child hunger.

FareShare and FareShare FoodCloud – Accepts food from businesses and uses any stock that is food safe, including those requiring chillers, freezers, and ambient storage. Accepts products such as those with packaging errors, short-dated food, seasonal stock, manufacturing errors, damages, etc., including meat, fish, eggs and dairy products; fruit and vegetables; chilled food, such as ready meals or drinks; frozen food, or chilled food that has been blast frozen; ambient goods, such as pasta, tins and cereals; and bakery. They do not accept cooked food from events.  The FareShare FoodCloud programme enables supermarkets to inform local charities of surplus food which is available for collection. Stores input details of available food into the FoodCloud app, and connected charities receive a text alert to which they can reply, confirming that they are able to collect the items mentioned.

The Felix Project Works with supermarkets, wholesalers, and retailers to distribute donated food. As of April 2017 the organization will provide fruit, vegetables, bakery and dairy products, as well as dried goods. It does not provide meat or fish, or accept or deliver supplies beyond the use by date.

FoodCycle Runs community events to cook and serve donated food to those in need. Works with major food retailers including Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and with local independent retailers and markets.

London Street Food Bank  A co-operative of volunteers who collect and distribute non-perishable foods for low Income or non-income families. Also includes a group of volunteers who collect daily leftover food, such as sandwiches, rolls, salads etc. from retail food outlets and distributes them to the homeless on the streets of London.  (See also listing below)

Neighbourly puts local stores that have surplus in direct contact with the charities and projects that can get the food to people who need it. Works with M&S, Lidl, and others.

 Olio works with shops and cafés to reduce food waste. Their Food Waste Hero (FWH) programme involves OLIO matching volunteers with shops or cafes. They will collect any unsold surplus food at the end of the day and share within the local community. In addition, Olio’s app enables cafes or shops to upload information about surplus food directly. Local residents will be notified when the shop or cafe shares its unsold food, and they can message the shop or cafe to confirm collection. Finally, shops or cafes can host a drop box, a plastic OLIO box placed in the shop or café. The boxes enables neighbours to exchange with each other without having to arrange for a doorstep collection.

North London Action for the Homeless accepts donations of tinned vegetarian food and accepts large donations of quality, fresh ingredients. In particular, they need regular donations of tea, sugar, squash, oil, long life milk, vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, pasta and lentils.

Plan Zheroes accepts big and small food donations from restaurants, catering companies, supermarkets, food stores, stalls, etc. either regularly or occasionally. Businesses are matched with local charities who transport the food.

Real Junk Food Project is a collaborative effort between catering professionals and activists to bring about a radical change in the food system. RJFP intercept food that is past its expiration date, prepare the food and serve it in their cafés on a pay as you feel basis.  There may be an RJFP open near you, or coming soon or you could open your own. Contact them via their Facebook page to find out.

Save the date café are an East London group fighting to prevent food waste. They turn surplus food into delicious meals and serve them on a pay as you feel basis.