Supermarket giant Tesco has announced a new training programme Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver, which will teach over 1,000 community cooks on how best to use surplus food donations to help stop good food going to waste.
The chain has been focusing on reducing food waste for over a decade. In 2009, it stopped sending food to landfill and in 2013, became the first retailer to publish its food waste data. In 2016, Tesco made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption would go to waste in its operations. Since then, every week it donates 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups.
The Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver, which has been developed in partnership with FareShare, will help community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals out of surplus food donations.
One of the challenges facing community cooks is how to prepare unusual or unexpected ingredients and large quantities of seasonal produce, and so using recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs will ensure community cooks make the most of surplus food and reduce food waste.
The community cooks will learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated food. Training will be free and attendees will receive free cooking equipment and a folder featuring Jamie’s food surplus recipes.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need, but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product. With Jamie’s help, we believe we can inspire, train and support charities to do even more with the donations they receive. Together, we can bring tasty and nutritious food to more people, in communities right across the UK.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell added: “With Tesco’s support, FareShare is working with charities across the country to help feed hundreds of thousands of people in need every week. Most of these charities provide meals made by community cooks, who may already have lots of experience and just need some new ideas; or they could do with a really good grounding in nutrition and the scaling up of meals. In either case the Tesco Community Cookery School is ideal for them, and will have a direct benefit in providing nutritious hot meals to vulnerable people.”
All Tesco stores are set up to donate their surplus food to charity and community groups on a daily basis. So far, it has donated over 60 million meals of surplus food to charities and good causes.
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