Lidl donates thousands of Christmas dinners to loneliness charities

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Lidl is set to donate a selection of staple festive food items to charities and community groups tackling loneliness and isolation this Christmas, which will equate to 3,000 Christmas dinners.

The move comes off the back of feedback from charities and projects that Lidl supports throughout the year, which identified that additional donations were required to facilitate events to bring people experiencing isolation together. The groups include homeless and community kitchens, and elderly social groups.

The donations include a total of 282 turkeys, 4,700 pigs in blankets, 131 tubs of gravy granules, 26kg of cranberry sauce, 655kg of potatoes and 65kg of Brussels sprouts, which will be donated to 131 charities and community groups across the country.

The products are in addition to the food surplus, including fresh vegetables, already donated by the supermarket all year round, and will enable the projects to cook a full Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings.

Mark Newbold, CSR manager at Lidl UK, commented: “It’s incredibly heartening to hear about all of the good causes that our food surplus goes towards through our national food redistribution programme, but we know that the Christmas period in particular can be a very difficult time for many people suffering from loneliness. This is why we wanted to give a bit extra to the communities and projects that our store teams support throughout the year, helping to bring people together.”

Nick Davies, founder of Neighbourly, said: “At Christmas-time, donating food is about more than providing meals – it’s about making a special effort to include vulnerable people who for most of the year feel they don’t belong. Lidl recognise that Christmas Dinner is too important to be left to chance and they should be applauded for listening to what’s really happening in society and trying to do something about it.”

Helen Rawling, from Kitchen for Everyone in York, one of the groups receiving a Lidl donation, added: “The offer of food for our Christmas meal is absolutely amazing and we are so very grateful.
We will be serving our meal to the homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded of York on Boxing Day and again on New Year’s Day so the food will be a huge help. It’s wonderful that Lidl donate all year round and support groups like ours to help those less fortunate.”

In partnership with Neighbourly, Lidl launched its national food redistribution programme, named Feed it Back, in January 2017, enabling each of its stores to connect with local good causes and donate edible food surplus directly. The supermarket completed its national rollout this summer, marking the fastest rollout of any other supermarket, and, to date, Lidl stores across England, Scotland and Wales have helped to provide over two million meals for those in need.

Any community projects that would benefit from partnering with a Lidl store can simply visit the Neighbourly website, call 0117 917 5311, or email lidl@neighbourly.com, to find out more about how to register.