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Over 100,000 meals have now been saved from going to waste as a result of a partnership between retailer Central England Co-op (CEC) and the world’s largest food saving app, Too Good To Go.

The partnership, which sees CEC customers and members able to pick up a Magic Bag of discounted food at the end of the day to help avoid food going to waste, recently celebrated its first anniversary and has now seen the 100,000 figure hit, equating to 250,000 kg of CO2e saved - the C02e equivalent of 49 flights around the world.

CEC has rolled out the scheme across its over 260 food stores and the link-up with Too Good To Go works in tandem with CEC’s ground-breaking food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands, giving it an extra route to reducing food waste and help in its aim to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Customers and members with the free Too Good To Go mobile app can search for their local CEC store with unsold food and purchase a surprise Magic Bag - priced at £4 but containing at least £12 worth of food - before collecting at the allotted time.

Earlier this year, CEC and Too Good to Go joined together to demonstrate the scale of the UK’s food waste problem during Food Waste Action Week by erecting three giant sculptures of the UK’s most wasted food items outside its Boley Park food store in Lichfield.

Claire Koziol, head of trading operations at CEC, explained the environmental benefits of the partnership with Too Good To Go and how it is complementing its ongoing work to reduce food waste:

“Through our partnership with FareShare Midlands we already had a great process in place for the distribution of ‘best before’ products that had reached the end of their shelf life but could still be utilised by the projects FareShare supports across our communities.

“That, however, still left products approaching their sell-by date that ultimately would have to go in the bin if not sold in time. That is where Too Good To Go has really helped.

“These products are still high-quality items that customers want, and it is a great solution if people are able to utilise them the same day or can freeze them to use them at a later date.

“A big benefit from our point of view is that we are reducing food waste even further and it’s fantastic that after one year of the partnership with Too Good To Go we’ve now hit the milestone of 100,000 meals saved. It is making a major difference in our aim to create a sustainable Society for all.”

Sophie Trueman, managing director UK & Ireland at Too Good To Go, said: “I’m thrilled to have reached this incredible milestone with Central England Co-Op. Central England’s Co-op’s ongoing commitment to fighting food waste has made them the perfect partner for us, and it’s amazing to see the significant impact we are driving together.

“At Too Good To Go, we want to make it simple and easy to access quality food for a more affordable price, and to do so in way that does right by our planet too. There are huge benefits to tackling food waste, both for our environment and for individuals’ spending, and I can’t wait to see our partnership with CEC continue to flourish as we rescue even more good food from going to waste.”

The free Too Good To Go app can be downloaded from all mobile app stores. Simply search for Too Good To Go to start saving today.