Munch, Tesco, and Magyar Élelmiszerbank Egyesület have initiated a revolutionary collaboration to find new solutions to the issue of food waste while providing support to those in need. Through the project named MunCharity, we have already distributed more than a thousand food packages among over a hundred individuals in need.
Direct distribution from stores to those in need
MunCharity aims to integrate food rescue into small, low-traffic stores that produce minimal food waste, where traditional food rescue methods are not economically viable. It is more efficient for local individuals in need to go and directly receive surplus donations from stores, rather than having a social organisation visit daily to collect excess items and redistribute them. The project is currently running in two Tesco stores, specifically in the express stores located on Pablo Neruda Street and Hasadék Street in Budapest downtown.
“We have been collaborating with Magyar Élelmiszerbank Egyesület for 10 years to extend our daily food rescue efforts by delivering remaining but still consumable food from our stores to those in difficult situations. This not only helps reduce food waste but also aids those in need. We are extremely pleased that, with the involvement of Munch, we can further expand the program. Since the summer, more than 100 individuals in need have received over 1000 food packages from our two express stores. In early next year, we aim to involve additional stores in this three-way collaboration,” said Nóra Hevesi, Communication and Campaign Lead at Tesco Hungary.
Collaboration for fair distribution
In this three-way collaboration, Tesco provides the food packages, Munch manages and operates the mobile application in collaboration with the Food Bank. Local partner organisations, working with the Food Bank, delegate individuals in need. The packages may contain vegetables, bakery items, or mixed long-lasting Munches. Reservation, similar to traditional Munch, occurs after Tesco stores upload the packages to the platform. Registered individuals in need can freely reserve and pick up the packages within the specified time frame at the store. While users can reserve multiple packages, restrictions are in place to ensure equal distribution.
“Since the founding of Munch, we have emphasized the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic, and social – and have closely collaborated with the Food Bank from the beginning. Our current charity project, a result of collaboration among three organisations in different sectors, aims not only to reduce food waste but also to directly support those in need. I would like to express special thanks to Tesco, who was the first among major corporations to join the project” said Botond Zsoldos, Innovation Lead at Munch.
Environmental, economic, and social sustainability
The goal for the next year is to have additional Tesco stores join the project, allowing more individuals in need access to high-quality food. MunCharity aims to draw attention to the value of food, highlighting that reducing food waste contributes not only to environmental and economic sustainability but also increases social sustainability.
“The three-way collaboration offers new opportunities for developing social-purpose food rescue. With this digitized solution, we can significantly increase the number of stores that can offer their surplus to individuals in need. Individuals in need can access the packages curated for them more quickly than before,” said Balázs Cseh, President of Magyar Élelmiszerbank Egyesület.
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