Waste not, want not: How Asda is helping communities by redistributing surplus stock

From food to monster suits!

Waste not, want not: How Asda is helping communities by redistributing surplus stock

Back in 2006, Asda announced a commitment to stop sending any waste produced by its stores to landfill. 

In the last year, Asda has donated over 1.5 million meals working with a range of charities

So, they set out to redistribute surplus stock - not only does this mean nothing gets thrown away, it also allows them to give back to local communities.

Through their partnerships with suppliers and charities, they've been able to redistribute surplus stock that might otherwise have gone to waste. In the last year alone, that equated to 1.5 million meals distributed to those who desperately need them. 

It's not just food though - products donated also include nappies, pet food… and monster suits. 

And charities that have benefitted include night shelters, drop-in centres, breakfast and afternoon clubs, elderly day centres and domestic violence refuges, among many others. 

Here's a closer look at just some of the incredible successes these charity partnerships have already achieved. 

A monster effort with InKind Direct

Since 2011, Asda has partnered with InKind Direct, an organisation which redistributes products from companies to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. This might include samples, cosmetically damaged (but usable) goods, or end of line items sitting on warehouse shelves. 

In just the first six months of 2016, Asda delivered 21 pallets of stock to the London charity. 

One initiative that has benefitted from the partnership is Hope and Aid Direct, an Essex-based organisation that delivers aid directly to whoever needs it the most, regardless of religion, ethnicity or location. 

In the picture below, a group of Filipino children are seen receiving notepads donated by Asda, which were part of a consignment sent to re-equip schools that had lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan.

A slightly more unusual delivery that made its way to NAViGo Community Interest Company in North East Lincolnshire this year was a collection of monster suits. 

NAViGO is a not-for-profit social enterprise which provides health and care services free to the local community. 

They used the monsters as mascots for their mental health promotion campaign in 2016. They posted images of the characters on social media with captions reading, ‘what are your inner monsters?’ and ‘facing your monsters’ to promote the campaign.

Barry Halliday, Senior Support Worker, said of the support from Asda and InKind Direct: “We were thrilled to find a pallet of monsters costumes! They’re a great tool to help de-stigmatise mental health and learning disabilities. They’ve definitely got people talking and we take every opportunity to use them in our local community.”

Delivering meals with FareShare

In June 2013, Asda also formed a partnership with its 120 suppliers and FareShare, which means that any surplus fresh food is redistributed to UK charities and community projects.

Since launch, the partnership has helped deliver over 5 million meals to 2,500 charities. 

Between 2015 and 2016, that meant that FareShare was able to supply 499,140 people a week with a decent meal - all from stock that might have previously ended up on the rubbish heap. And this Christmas alone, Asda has supplied 1,000 frozen surplus turkeys that FareShare have been redistributing to local charities in Scotland. 

Waste not, want not, indeed!