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Homelessness charity pleads with Marks & Spencer to restart food deliveries

Website: Third Sector
Date: 8/06/2010
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Surplus sandwiches no longer on offer

A homelessness charity in Coventry is to meet with its local Marks & Spencer store this week to attempt to resume a contract to receive surplus food from the retailer.

The Coventry Jesus Centre had been receiving about 25 big trays of food, including sandwiches and sausages, three times a week until deliveries ceased recently.

The store told the centre the reason for stopping the food deliveries was a change in national policy concerning food waste.

Laurence Cooper, the centre's trust fundraiser and team leader, said ending the donations had made it extremely difficult for the centre to continue providing free and highly subsidised meals to up to 100 visitors per day.

Last week, Marks & Spencer awarded a three-year contract to waste management group Shanks to recycle food from its 600 stores that was unsold or past its sell-by date and turn it into biofuel for green energy.

An M&S spokeswoman said local stores were free to give surplus food to charities at their discretion but that the contract with Shanks was unrelated to this.