Aldi is first retailer to donate non-surplus food to FoodCloud during Covid-19
7 July 2020 | 0
Aldi Ireland has become the first retailer to donate non-surplus food to FoodCloud during the Covid-19 pandemic to help with the unprecedented demand on FoodCloud’s services from charities.
FoodCloud has experienced a huge surge in demand for its food redistribution services in recent months. Between March and June, charities sought 44% more food donations compared to the same period in 2019, with 968 tonnes of food, equating to 2.3 million meals, distributed through retail partners and FoodCloud hubs during this time.
New food hubs
With such heightened demand, it has been necessary for FoodCloud to source and distribute non-surplus food for the very first time in its seven years of operations, with Aldi also stepping in for the first time to provide additional support in a new way.
As a direct result of Aldi’s donation, FoodCloud was able to partner with Local Development Companies early in the pandemic to support 17 new food hubs in 15 counties, meaning it could reach more charities and provide meals for more people in need across Ireland as Covid-19 took its toll on communities.
June 2020 witnessed an all-time record peak in charities seeking FoodCloud’s help, with donations to charities up 64% compared to 2019. During June, FoodCloud donated 274 tonnes of food, the equivalent of 652,000 meals, through retail partners and dedicated FoodCloud hubs, saving the equivalent of 877 tonnes in CO2 emissions.
In addition to ongoing surplus food donations, Aldi has also supported FoodCloud financially through a donation of €50,000 of food, equating to an extra 4,000 meals a week. The food donations of cupboard essentials such as rice, pasta and tinned goods, go to communities and individuals in need.
“We are committed to working with FoodCloud to help combat food poverty,” said John Curtin, Aldi group buying director.
“Covid-19 has put increasing pressure on us all, and Aldi is delighted to have been able to assist FoodCloud,” Curtin added. “We can see the ripple effect that comes from that with FoodCloud working with the Local Development Companies to now support 17 new food hubs across the country, which in turn are helping even more people in need.”
Iseult Ward, CEO of FoodCloud, said a growing number of charities have been seeking its services since the start of the pandemic. “We will continue helping charities and communities in need across Ireland, and donations such as Aldi’s are a great help to us,” she said.
Mary Sheridan, principal of St Bricin’s College in Belturbet, Co. Cavan, said the school had observed “a gap in supply to some of the most vulnerable in our community.
“It was just incredible to see the Gardaí and the Civil Defence delivering the FoodCloud food parcels from the Cavan County Local Development hubs to those in need,” she said. “This food has connected the community, giving people assurance that they are not alone in such uncertain times.”
Joe Saunders, manager of the Irish Local Development Network, added that it was “delighted to partner with FoodCloud to rapidly set up 17 new food hubs to reach families in need across the country”.