A leading retailer is to share out unsold food at its Peterborough stores among local charities.
Central England Co-op says best before food items and non-food goods that cannot be sold will be donated to charities to help those in need.
Unsold food from its stores in Peterborough will be collected at the Co-op's Food Distribution Centre, in Leicester, and then delivered to FareShare to send out to 250 charities across the Midlands.
It is hoped the scheme will provide more than one million meals per year to vulnerable people and help cut food waste by at least 40 per cent.
Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-operative's corporate responsibility manager, said: “Food waste is a topic customers and colleagues regularly talk to us about and it is an area that has always been at the forefront of plans at the Society.
“We have been looking for a solution to this issue for many years and are now proud to be able to reveal our plan to tackle food waste in a manner that also has a major impact for our communities and our partners."
“This is why, following the success of our pilot project, we are delighted to be able to announce that we are working with FareShare East Midlands and rolling out this project to drive down food waste and at the same time have a major impact by helping people in need in our communities.”
FareShare East Midlands’ director Simone Connolly said: “We are all absolutely delighted at the opportunity to work with Central England Co-op in such a meaningful way.
“The combined effort between us will ensure that thousands more people across our region will have access to perfectly edible food that would otherwise be wasted.
“While we acknowledge that we’re not able to lift people out of poverty, we can ensure that good food isn’t wasted when there is a real need for it thanks to this ground-breaking partnership with Central England Co-op.”