OLIO volunteers share five million meals with locals in partnership with Tesco with help from donations in Midlothian

Food Waste Heroes in Midlothian have helped to prevent more than five million meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and OLIO.

Produce from a Tesco Express being uploaded and donated to Olio. Picture by Ben Stevens / Parsons Media
Produce from a Tesco Express being uploaded and donated to Olio. Picture by Ben Stevens / Parsons Media

In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with the food sharing app, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from being thrown away.

In the first full year of the partnership OLIO’s network of more than 3,700 Food Waste Heroes across the UK helped to save 5.6 million meals from Tesco stores, with more than 72,000 people able to put the food to good use for themselves, their families and others in their local communities.

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In Midlothian, OLIO Food Waste Heroes have now shared 8,321 meals through the app.

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes.

The items are then immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up, from an agreed, contact-free collection point.

Tesco head of communities, Claire De Silva said: “Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations.

“For our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes.”

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.

“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”