Asda is to invest at least £20 million into a partnership with food redistribution charities with the aim of helping more than one million people out of food poverty over the next three years.
The supermarket is to fund development of the distribution infrastructure used by FareShare and The Trussell Trust to make fresh food the norm in foodbanks.
Currently, both charities struggle to transport and store fresh food, which needs to be chilled, and means those using food banks are reliant on mainly tinned and packet foods.
The investment will also fund support services in food banks, such as debt counselling and job advice, allowing people to begin to get themselves out of food poverty.
The partnership will enable FareShare and The Trussell Trust to provide an additional 24 million meals every year, give 500,000 more people access to fresh food in the UK and help one million people get themselves out of food poverty over the next three years, Asda said.
In a blog post, Andy Murray, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “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.
“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.”