Whitbread announced it will donate over 27 tonnes of food to charity as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.
The majority of donations will go to food redistribution charity FareShare as part of the hotel group’s new partnership with the organisation.
The food, which is enough to provide 64,387 meals, has been diverted as a result of the closure of Whitbread restaurants across the UK.
The group reportedly has “huge surpluses” of food as it was approaching the “busiest time of year” for the casual dining market.
The majority of the food will be distributed through Whitbread’s two main logistics centres, then redistributed through FareShare’s network of thousands of frontline charities and community groups as they work to support the vulnerable during the pandemic.
It is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations.
Phil Birbeck, managing director at Whitbread Restaurants said: “We are extremely proud that we are able to act as a Force for Good through our partnership with FareShare by enabling us to donate food that would potentially have gone to waste, and that community groups and charities will benefit.
“This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, but we are so pleased that something positive is able to come from this as we continue to find ways to support our teams, our guests and our suppliers in unprecedented times.”
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: “FareShare already provides enough food to charities to help them provide almost a million meals a week – but as the Coronavirus outbreak develops, demand for our service is only going to continue rising.
“The past month alone has seen a record number of charities requesting to sign up, which only makes Whitbread’s support even more vital.”