Sunday 15 September 2019

'Christmas puts a lot of pressure on people to have a huge spread' - Charity pleads with retailers to donate surplus food

Award winning Social Enterprise FoodCloud and their transport partners Opel Ireland, revealed plans to deliver the equivalent of 44,970 meals of surplus food to charities most in need this Christmas. Pictured at the announcement outside The Finglas Youth Resource Centre in Dublin were (LtoR) Aoibheann O'Brien Co Founder Food Cloud and Gillian Whittall, Head of Marketing and PR Opel Ireland with Finglas Youth Resource Centre workers Bernie Harrington and Daniel Kearney. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Award winning Social Enterprise FoodCloud and their transport partners Opel Ireland, revealed plans to deliver the equivalent of 44,970 meals of surplus food to charities most in need this Christmas. Pictured at the announcement outside The Finglas Youth Resource Centre in Dublin were (LtoR) Aoibheann O'Brien Co Founder Food Cloud and Gillian Whittall, Head of Marketing and PR Opel Ireland with Finglas Youth Resource Centre workers Bernie Harrington and Daniel Kearney. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

An Irish food charity is pleading with the public to help donate surplus food as Christmas "puts extra pressure" on families to have food on the table.

As hundreds of local charities brace themselves for a busy season ahead, award winning social enterprise FoodCloud revealed they hope to deliver the equivalent of 44,970 meals of surplus food to those charities most in need this Christmas.

"We have three hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway where we store large quantities of food and charities can come and collect it," co-founder Aoibheann O’Brien told Independent.ie.

"Suppliers who have extra food can use the app to alert nearby charities who can then pick up the food and distribute it to those in need.

Tesco Ireland have donated food to the charity
Tesco Ireland have donated food to the charity

“We solve two problems at once – food waste and food poverty. We directly connect retailers with local charities."

FoodCloud was founded by Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward in 2012 and they now have over 20 full-time staff, 100 volunteers and help over 300 charities across Ireland.

“As we’re coming up to Christmas we’re doing a big call-out for suppliers to donate food. Christmas is a mad time so it can be hard for food suppliers to predict how much surplus food they will have.

“We want to ensure that the food that they worked hard to produce gets to be enjoyed by people who really need it.”

Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien are winners of WMB (Women Mean Business) Magazine Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien are winners of WMB (Women Mean Business) Magazine Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The charity works with farmers, manufacturers, distributors and accept large quantities of surplus food. To date they have worked with over 300 business partners.

“To-date between FoodCloud and our Hubs, we’ve redistributed 8.5 million meals, while helping businesses meet their waste reduction and carbon emission targets.”

One of the charity’s sponsors Opel Ireland donated seven vans to help distribute the food across the country this Christmas.

According to statistics, Irish households throw away €700 worth of food every year.

Volunteers for FoodCloud
Volunteers for FoodCloud

This comes as one in eight people experience food poverty and one in five children go to bed or school hungry.

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