The partnership of Neighbourly and M&S has helped the latter save tons of food from being wasted, says a Neighbourly executive. This has helped the food giant to donate more than 36 million meals to communities and good causes.
Over Christmas, this would be a tricky thing to keep this up, the time of the year when stores are trading at their peak and that too with significant COVID restrictions. But with technology, that works to ease the pressure and enables to continue to deliver support at this special time of the year.
The success is credited to a mix of hyper-local approach involving creating strong and respectful relationships supported by technology. Beyond this, it is the energy and zeal of individuals working and volunteering in the community in line with the enthusiasm and determination of the ones working at M&S that makes this happen.
Currently, 570 M&S stores across the UK have tied up with Neighbourly’s food redistribution program. Donations under the program include edible excess food, which includes fresh produce, tins, bakery items, and flowers, edible gifts as well. Food safety is the only criteria involved here.
M&S executives build strong relationships with above 1400 community partners that visit daily to collect donations. The personal touch is of importance and helps individual executives to get involved and support groups that are functional in their own communities.
The use of technology brilliantly has proved to be game-changer. An app developed for the purpose helps record when M&S colleagues clear food which is close to its use-by or best before date, and then monitors if the products are sold at the checkout. The automatic connection of the app with Neighboulr platform notifies the latter’s community partners of food unsold at the end of the day that can be collected from their respective local stores.