Almost 2,000 Tesco meals provided by Derry’s ‘food waste heroes’

‘Food Waste Heroes’ in Derry have helped to prevent more than five million meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a partnership between Tesco and OLIO.

By Brendan McDaid
Friday, 27th August 2021, 10:39 am

In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with the food sharing app, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from being thrown away.

In the first full year of the partnership OLIO’s network of more than 3,700 people across the north and in Britain helped to save 5.6m meals from Tesco stores, with more than 72,000 people able to put the food to good use for themselves, their families and others in their local communities.

In Foyle, OLIO Food Waste Heroes have now shared 1,825 meals through the app.

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In Derry OLIO Food Waste Heroes have now shared 1,825 meals through the app. Picture by Ben Stevens / Parsons Media

The partnership builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare. That scheme, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals of food to charities and community groups. FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children – from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens, and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes. The items are then immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up, from an agreed, contact-free collection point.

Tesco Head of Communities, Claire De Silva said the impact has exceeded all expectations, while Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities.”

Tesco has led the way in tackling food waste for many years. It has not sent any food waste to landfill since 2009, and in 2013 Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.

All listings added to OLIO are given away for free and it is available as a mobile and a web app on