German supermarket giant Aldi will close their stores early this year to let food banks and charities collect unsold food for free.
While we attend family dinners, office Christmas parties, and events with friends in the holiday season, many don't have access to these privileges. Unfortunately, thousands of homeless citizens across the United Kingdom will be forced to brave the cold winter without food, water, and shelter. Thankfully, German FMCG giant Aldi has stepped in to make a positive difference and ensure fewer people go hungry. Through their Christmas Eve Donation Scheme, the chain will donate all their unsold food to various charities and food banks this Christmas.
Aldi launched the donation scheme in 2017. The company invites charities and food banks to first register their interest to participate in the program and then receive donations of unsold food on a first-come, first-served basis. From Christmas eve up until December 27, all Aldi stores will close at 4 pm so the organizations that have listed their interest can pick up whatever they wish to. The move has been widely praised, especially because the programs helps solve two problems simultaneously: hunger and food waste. The company officially stated on their website that they "wish to redistribute in support of less fortunate individuals and to prevent food going to waste."
The decision has prompted individuals to call on other companies to follow suit to bigger, more positive impact. Aldi affirms, "The fight against food waste is a big task. That’s why it’s important to work together with suppliers, customers, and fellow businesses to help achieve our goals." In order to attain these objectives, the supermarket giant partnered with a collection of other businesses and organizations that support halving food waste globally by 2025. Aldi joined this network, known as Champions 12.3, in 2017. Since then, they have been working towards halving their operational food waste by 2030 (with the year 2017 as a baseline) as well as assisting their customers and suppliers to reduce their food waste.
As per Fritz Walleczek, Aldi's Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, said, "We’re starting our festive donations scheme even earlier this year to give as many charities as possible the opportunity to apply. We want to give something back to the communities that we serve at such an important time of year. Last year we were able to reach thousands of people across the United Kingdom, and some charities were even able to prepare fresh meals that fed families well into the New Year." Aldi is undoubtedly doing their part to make the world a better place. You, like all supermarkets, are bound to have lots of food waste this year. Instead of throwing out leftovers, hand them to your local food bank or shelter in order to help someone who really needs it. 'Tis the season of giving, after all.