Whitbread revealed it has donated over 140 tonnes of food to charity amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The food has been diverted in light of the hotel group’s restaurant closures, with the majority of donations going towards the redistribution charity FareShare.
As part of the hotel group’s Force For Good programme, enough food to provide 335,000 meals has been donated, and donations will now be redistributed to thousands of charities who are working to support the vulnerable during the crisis.
Whitbread said it has recently seen a large increase in surplus good quality, in date food needing to be donated, and has therefore forged an additional partnership with the Real Junk Food Project, as well as its FareShare collaboration.
Donations will continue to support FareShare’s network of charities and community groups, and through the Real Junk Food Project, food supplies will be able to reach more local communities and frontline workers.
The majority of the food will be distributed through Whitbread’s two main logistics centres, and then through both organisation’s network of frontline charities and community groups.
Since the nationwide lockdown began, FareShare has seen a 90% increase in food donations reaching charities, whilst the number of charities applying to receive food has tripled.
In the last month alone, the Real Junk Food Project has delivered over 800 isolation packs to those in isolation and 3030 food parcels to NHS staff.
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 partnerships with FareShare and The Real Junk Food Project, which enable us to donate food that would potentially have gone to waste.
“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 CEO, 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. The nutritious, fresh food supplied by Whitbread will be distributed to thousands of charities working tirelessly through this crisis to ensure those most vulnerable are not left at increased risk of hunger.”