The government of France recently passed a law that will obligate supermarkets to donate food to charities. Here in the United States, the Daily Table will collect edible food from grocery stores and other sources and sell it at a deep discount to residents in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. And now, Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, has a plan to keep edible food out of the trash. The efforts are going to keep an impressive amount of perfectly edible food out of the landfill and funnel it where it should go: to hungry people.
The amount of food that Tesco alone threw away last year is staggering. In total, it discarded 55,400 tons of food, 30,000 tons of which was edible. Bakery goods, fruits and vegetables made up the largest portion of that waste. The food was perfectly good to eat, but it wasn't as fresh as the grocery store wanted it to be — so it was trashed.
It's not unusual for grocery stores to do this, and it's encouraging to see the steps this chain is taking to stop this frivolous waste by donating it to people in need. Tesco will donate its edible food to charities such as women's shelters, homeless hostels and breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children. Tesco will pilot the program in 10 of its U.K. stores. It already has a similar program in place in its Ireland locations.
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