Neighbourly Food is an initiative launched in 2015 by neighbourly.com, the social platform that connects community and charity projects with companies and people that can donate time, money or resources.
The scheme was started to support retailers and food manufacturers tackle the UK’s £5bn food waste problem and solve the logistics of redistributing surplus food, especially fresh produce, by connecting donors with suitable charity recipients.
The platform puts local supermarkets that have surplus food in direct contact with the charities who can get this food to people who need it. For retailers, the system allows them to track, manage and scale food waste redistribution efficiently with data analysis and reporting, league tables and incentives.
It shows the retailers, their customers and the wider community the projects and people that are being helped. This has provided the ability to track and give traceability to food donations in a way that was not being done before – giving donors and communities an insight into the people and projects being helped by the food.
JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This was the stand-out winner. It is a scalable, light touch system that connects businesses and charities, and offers wider environmental and community benefits. It is innovative in its smart approach, and has secured some major food retailers.”
The technology provides a simple, flexible and future-proof licence model for businesses, with no individual transaction fees, giving them a transparent online presence, reporting tools, charity vetting and ongoing support.
Charities can access food donations at no charge. The platform also provides more holistic support for these causes, helping them to connect with volunteers, funding and in-kind donations, as well as capturing and sharing stories and taking part in community campaigns.
Neighbourly has two major national supermarkets on-board with full roll-out plans. It is working with M&S on its target to reduce food waste by 20% by 2020 and, during the next year, all Lidl’s 600+ stores will be part of the scheme. Neighbourly also plans a pilot with another major UK retailer and is conducting trials with ‘food on the go’ and chilled produce.
In around 18 months, Neighbourly has redistributed more than 700 tonnes of surplus food to good causes. This would have otherwise become waste.
- Ansa Environmental Services
- B&M Waste Services with Renshaw
- Peterborough City Council
- Tesco with DS Smith
- XPO Logistics