Tesco has joined with Jamie Oliver to teach more than 1,000 community cooks on how best to use surplus food donations to help stop good food going to waste.
The Tesco Community Cookery School, which has been developed in partnership with FareShare, will help community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals out of surplus food donations.
One of the challenges facing community cooks is how to prepare unusual or unexpected ingredients and large quantities of seasonal produce, and so using recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs will ensure community cooks make the most of surplus food and reduce food waste.
The community cooks will learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated food.
Training will be free, and attendees will receive free cooking equipment and a folder featuring Jamie’s food surplus recipes.
Jamie Oliver said: “It’s fantastic to join the work that Tesco and FareShare are doing to reduce food waste.
“I’ve written these recipes to arm all those amazing community cooks with the tools to create something delicious and balanced for people who need it the most.
“It is all about giving otherwise-wasted ingredients some love, and transforming them into tasty, nutritious meals. For me, every dish we cook that reduces food waste is a winner!”
Tesco has made a commitment in 2016 that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in its operations. Since then, every week it donates 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product.
“As part of our commitment to ensure all food that is safe to eat doesn’t go to waste, we’ve set up the Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver.
“With Jamie’s help, we believe we can inspire, train and support charities to do even more with the donations they receive. Together, we can bring tasty and nutritious food to more people, in communities right across the UK.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “With Tesco’s support, FareShare is working with charities across the country to help feed hundreds of thousands of people in need every week.
“Most of these charities provide meals made by community cooks, who may already have lots of experience and just need some new ideas; or they could do with a really good grounding in nutrition and the scaling up of meals.”