Tesco has joined forces with Jamie Oliver on a new training programme to help charities and community groups prepare meals from surplus food donations.

The supermarket giant has launched the Tesco Community Cookery School, with the aim of teaching 1,000 cooks how to make better use of donated groceries.

The scheme, which has been developed in partnership with charity FareShare, comes as Tesco ramps up its war on food waste.

The grocer is 80% of the way towards its target of ensuring that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in its operations.

Tesco donates 300,000 meals-worth of surplus food to more than 7,000 community groups and charities every week.

But the retailer said community groups face the challenge of how to prepare “large quantities of season produce” or “unusual or unexpected ingredients” that are donated to them.

Cooks will be taught recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs to serve up to those in need.

The training will be put on free of charge and attendees will be given free cooking equipment and a collection of Oliver’s surplus-food recipes.

Tesco boss Dave Lewis said: “Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product.

“With Jamie’s help, we believe we can inspire, train and support charities to do even more with the donations they receive. Together, we can bring tasty and nutritious food to more people in communities right across the UK.”

Oliver added: “It’s fantastic to join the work that Tesco and FareShare are doing to reduce food waste. I’ve written these recipes to arm all those amazing community cooks with the tools to create something delicious and balanced for people who need it the most.”

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