Whitbread has donated almost £500,000 worth of food to help vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus crisis, it can be revealed.
The company, which owns the Premier Inn hotel chain as well as restaurant brands such as Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, has given more than 140 tonnes of food to charity.
As part of its sustainability programme, Force For Good, the food, which has been diverted as a result of the closure of its restaurants, is enough to provide 335,000 meals.
Due to its hotel and restaurant closures, the business has seen a large increase in surplus good quality, in-date food needing to be donated, and as a result has forged partnerships with food redistribution charities FareShare and The Real Junk Food Project.
The majority of the food has been distributed to FareShare and the Real Junk Food Project through Whitbread’s two main logistics centres, and then onwards through the organisations’ network of frontline charities and community groups it supports.
Phil Birbeck, managing director at Whitbread Restaurants, said: “We are extremely proud that we are able to act as a Force for Good through our partnerships with FareShare and The Real Junk Food Project, which enable us to donate food that would potentially have gone to waste. It is particularly pleasing that numerous community groups and charities will benefit in result.
“This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, but we are so pleased that something positive is able to come from this as we continue to find ways to support our teams, our guests and our suppliers in unprecedented times.”
The donations from Whitbread to its charity partners include more than 173,000 eggs, 2,000 packs of cheese and 3,000 gammon steaks as well as other essential fresh items such as milk, tomatoes, bananas and potatoes.
The food is redistributed to schools, foodbanks, care homes and homeless shelters.