Asda has announced plans to invest at least £20 million into a partnership with charities to help more than one million people out of food poverty in the next three years.
The Big 4 grocer will fund development of the distribution infrastructure used by FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help make fresh food the norm in foodbanks.
The two charities currently rely mainly on canned and packet foods as they struggle to transport and store fresh food, which needs to be chilled.
The new partnership means FareShare and The Trussell Trust can now provide an additional 24 million meals every year and give 500,000 more people access to fresh food in the UK.
Asda’s investment will also go towards services such as debt counselling and job advice, allowing people to begin to get themselves out of food poverty.
The retailer said its goal is to help one million people out of food poverty over the next three years.
“Right now in the UK, 8.4 million people are struggling to afford to eat. One in 10 people in the UK are missing meals to pay their bills – and one in four of those are children,” Asda chief customer officer Andy Murray said.
“And yet, four million tonnes of perfectly decent food is wasted each year in the UK.
“We simply cannot – and will not – accept food being wasted whilst people in our communities go hungry. We’ve listened to our customers and want to take on their challenge to fight hunger and create change.”
Mark Ward, interim chief executive at The Trussell Trust, said: “Asda’s investment means they can expand their reach and develop new projects bringing very real, tangible benefits to local communities and to anyone struggling with food insecurity in a way that simply has not been possible before.”