top of page

Partnership helps plug free school meals gap with £100,000 of fresh food

This summer, the John Lewis Partnership is making a £100,000 donation via one of their charity partners, FareShare, to ensure thousands of nutritional meals reach people in need across the UK, including many who may be missing out on free school meals during the holidays.

According to The Food Foundation’s 2023 Broken Plate report, deprivation means a fifth of UK adults consume less fruit and veg (37% less), oily fish (54% less) and dietary fibre (17% less). So we’re focusing on providing fresh, healthy and nutritious whole foods to those who need it most. They’ve also shared that 4 million children are living in households facing food poverty which has doubled in the last year, whilst food insecurity has impacted 9.3 million adults.

Waitrose and John Lewis have been working with FareShare, a charity dedicated to fighting hunger and reducing food waste across the UK, since 2017. So far, over 16 million meals from surplus food have been diverted from Waitrose shops and distribution centres. That’s over 7,000 tonnes of food that has saved over 16.4 tonnes of CO2 from being produced.

“Everyone has the right to good, nutritious food, the need for which extends beyond school term time.” Lindsey Crompton, Social Impact & Health Lead at the John Lewis Partnership said.

“We have a long-standing partnership with FareShare and their selfless volunteers. We have worked together to divert food, donate funds and share skills with those who need it, up and down the country. Right now many people are struggling to feed themselves and their families, so we want to help ease the pressure for those who risk going hungry this summer by working in partnership with FareShare and some of our key suppliers.”

During 2022-23, FareShare redistributed the equivalent of nearly 128 million meals - that’s 4 meals every second. Nearly 70%* of the support FareShare and its associated charity partners provide is received by families with children under the age of 18. This summer we will connect Fareshare with our own Waitrose suppliers, including Primafruit, Produce World and Dovecote, to get healthy, good food direct from farms to families in need.

“The demand for FareShare food has skyrocketed as a result of the cost of living crisis, and will continue to rise throughout the summer holidays when more families rely on these vital local services to feed themselves and their loved ones.” Claire Kerrin, Commercial Manager at FareShare, said.

“We’re pleased to be working with Waitrose farms and suppliers, which offers FareShare a fantastic opportunity to distribute fresh food to those who need it, at a time when millions of people are going hungry across the UK.”

Jamie Marskell, Primafruit Managing Director, said: “Primafruit are so proud to be part of this programme, supplying the healthy fruit we source with care, to those with a real need. Working in partnership with Waitrose and FareShare this Summer is a wonderful way to work towards changing lives for the better.”

We’re also grateful to our Waitrose customers who have generously donated food and other everyday items in our stores to local food banks. In the last year, 1,156 tonnes of food and other items were given to The Trussell Trust via 190 Waitrose collection points, an increase in donations from last year by around 48%. Spurred on by our customer’s increased support, we’ve also doubled our annual donation to The Trussell Trust, to £540,000 this year, supporting communities through the current cost of living crisis.**

*Stats are taken from FareShare’s 22/23 Impact Survey ran in Jan/Feb 2023.

**Waitrose are also helping customers with the rising costs of living, by cutting prices for the second time this year as part of a record £100m investment.


bottom of page