€3 million worth of food provided for those in need through Irish company

Food is being provided for the most deprived people in Ireland, through a joint project conducted by social enterprise FoodCloud Hubs and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection – which receives European funding.

FoodCloud – an innovative Irish food waste company – recently won a prestigious European award for being a leading green start-up, among numerous other accolades since being founded in late 2013.

FoodCloud tackles food waste through an app that connects supermarkets, restaurants and hotels with charities – this ensures that leftover food can go to those who need it, instead of going to waste.

Pushing on from this, the company has since begun to focus on stabilising food supply for those in need through procuring long-lasting food such as tinned products.

The FEAD (Fund for European Aid to most Deprived) Programme assists: long-term rough sleepers and homeless; children in low-income households; victims of domestic violence in shelters and refuges; and many other vulnerable people in our society.

The project has already provided €3 million worth of food to over 60,000 people who are long-term homeless, victims of domestic abuse, children in low-income households and others marginalised in Ireland today.

Welcoming the European-funded FEAD programme, MEP for the Ireland South constituency Deirdre Clune recently visited the FoodCloud Hub in Cork to see how the programme was progressing.

Eimear Delahunty, Food Cloud Hubs and Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune. Image source: Gerard McCarthy

“The FoodCloud and FoodCloud Hub models have proven to work incredibly well in managing food surplus and unsold food between retailers, the food industry and local charities,” she said.

“Now, thanks to EU funding, the FEAD programme provides non-perishable food to those most in need in a very structured and sustained way.

“Given the tonnes of food waste in Ireland alone, this programme is a win-win.”

Through FEAD, FoodCloud Hubs are responsible for procurement, storage and distribution of the non-perishable goods, such as: breakfast cereals; porridge; soups; pasta and rice; canned vegetables; among others.

The foodstuffs are then provided to eligible organisations based on a regular, specified food collection schedule.

Eimear Delahunty of the FoodCloud Hub in Cork also commented on the announcement, saying: “We’ve had growing support from the food industry in Ireland, with over 100 businesses now supplying surplus. Much of this food tends to be fresh and perishable food.

The addition of the FEAD programme has been fantastic for our 150 partner charities. They now have a supply of store-cupboard items such as tea and rice that are a perfect addition to their surplus products.

“This has had huge benefits for their organisations, both in terms of savings and services delivered,” Delahunty concluded.