New Cork food donation programme aims to create 100,000 meals for those in poverty

A new food donation programme in Cork aims to create 100,000 meals for people suffering from food poverty.

New Cork food donation programme aims to create 100,000 meals for those in poverty

The programme — a partnership between Lidl Ireland and Bia Food Initiative — will see surplus food collected on a daily basis from each of the participating Lidl stores in Cork. These include Lidl stores in Midleton, Ballincollig, Ballyvolane, Churchfield, Togher, Cornmarket Street, and its Regional Distribution Centre in Charleville.

All the participating stores have been issued with a Bia Food AHT chilled cabinet. The refrigerated cabinet will be used to collect all surplus food products that have been removed from sale.

This food will then be redirected to over 56 charities working with those affected by food poverty.

Lidl aims to donate the equivalent of 100,000 meals to Bia Food Initiative in 2016 — with 25,000 meals having already been donated following a trial period.

The partnership is an extension of Lidl’s structured food donation programme in Dublin where selected stores donate surplus food to the charity Crosscare. To date, Lidl has donated more than 53.7 tonnes of surplus food to charity since 2013 — equal to more than 130,075 meals.

Lidl is providing a refrigerated van, motor insurance and the required fuel with Bia Food manning the service through a team of trained volunteers.

Over 10% of people in Ireland are reportedly affected by food poverty, meaning that they simply cannot afford to provide themselves and their families with the recommended daily amounts of healthy and nutritious food.

People finding themselves at risk of food poverty include those living alone, families on low incomes, single parents, and families with three or more children.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than one million tonnes of food goes to waste every year in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, project manager with Bia Food, Karen Horgan, said the project would help provide meals to people and families that are most in need.

“We are delighted with the support that we are receiving from Lidl,” she said. “The food donated from the Cork Stores and the Charleville Regional Distribution centre has been very well received by the 56 charities we currently work with and we are now able to make daily donations a reality to these charities through the use of the Lidl refrigerated van. We look forward to a successful 2016 with Lidl and hope to donate at least 100,000 meals to those who most need it.”

Caitriona McCarry of Lidl Ireland said the retailer was the first in Ireland to establish a food donation programme.

“The programme has met with great success in Dublin, with Crosscare, and it is our pleasure to roll it out in Cork,” she said. “We are mindful to ensure the health and safety aspects of this partnership and all aspects of the system will be monitored to ensure that the project is a great success and benefits those affected by food poverty in Ireland.”

Post-flood food

by Steve Neville

Diners at Cork Penny Dinners were delivered a fine Italian feast on Tuesday.

The charity was blown away by the generosity of the people running the Cork Flood Alerts Facebook page and a local pizzeria.

Patrick O’Leary, founder and lead administrator of Cork Flood Alerts, said Pizzeria San Marco in Midleton had donated a meal to the people running the page as a thank you for keeping them updated on flooding throughout Storm Frank.

But Cork Flood Alerts had a better idea for the kind donation.

“We decided that it would be much better to pass this [the meal] onto Cork Penny Dinners as we know just how wonderful the charity is, and they are much more deserving of the very kind gesture,” said Mr O’Leary.

So Cork Flood Alerts and Pizzeria San Marco joined together to deliver and serve up a delicious meal of lasagne and focaccia, served in traditional Italian regalia.

Cork Penny Dinners is a soup kitchen that provides a warm meal to people in need in Cork, serving well over 1,000 meals per week.

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