Marks & Spencer (M&S) has revealed that it has donated 70 million meals to local charities in collaboration with its longstanding food redistribution partner, Neighbourly.

Since the launch of their partnership in 2015, M&S and Neighbourly have worked hand in hand to redistribute surplus food from stores to more than 3,000 local charities and community organisations.

This initiative aims to combat food waste, ensuring that good-quality food that would otherwise go to waste benefits those in need.

The partnership has been successful in supporting more than 4.5 million individuals, including families in need, young people, and individuals with disabilities.

The M&S and Neighbourly partnership has proven effective in preventing more than 30,000 tonnes (t) of high-quality food from being discarded.

This aligns with M&S’ ambitious goal to achieve 100% redistribution of edible surplus food by 2025, as part of its broader ‘Plan A’ roadmap towards net zero.

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Record-breaking year: more than 13 million meals donated in 2023

In response to the growing reliance on food charities across the UK due to ongoing cost-of-living concerns, the M&S-Neighbourly partnership reached a significant milestone in 2023.

More than 13 million meals have been donated this year alone, marking the highest number of meal donations in the history of the collaboration.

As the holiday season approaches, M&S anticipates surpassing this record, with more than 400,000 meals donated in the first week of December – an increase of 100,000 from the previous year.

In addition to its ongoing partnership with Neighbourly, last month M&S announced a new collaboration with Fareshare to further address food waste by redistributing surplus food from within its supply chain, including a donation of one million freshly prepared, nutritious ready meals in the eight weeks leading up to Christmas.