Addressing the British Food Waste Problem

Oct 29, 2019 7:30 AM ET

Although the U.K. is one of the richest countries in the world, many people are struggling to afford food while there are estimates that up to 95% of a supermarket’s surplus food goes to waste. Inspired by this, a group of Legg Mason employees in London volunteered with The Felix Project, a charity which collects surplus food from supermarkets and wholesalers and delivers it to more than 200 charities and schools across the capital.

Volunteers helped with the collection of surplus food from different suppliers such as supermarkets, farms and wholesalers. These items either passed their shelf life or did not meet market standards - cereal packets which have been dented, packs of biscuits whose label has partly come off and sponges in the form of reindeer that are no longer seasonably appropriate.

Onsite, volunteers helped by sorting and inspecting items to ensure the quality was still acceptable. Once sorted, they helped pack it up for redistribution to schools and charities.

“It was such a rewarding day, being able to help provide food to the hungry. With so much surplus food going to waste in the U.K., there is lots more to be done!” said Constanze Ullmann, Head of Communications – Europe.

The Felix Project has been instrumental in the British food waste conundrum, providing more than one million meals per year around the U.K. This includes fruit and vegetables, bakery goods, tins, dairy products and even dog and cat food. The charities and schools submit their “wish lists" to The Felix Project and use the food to cook meals, provide snacks and food parcels or make it available on market stalls for pupils and their families to take home.