Tesco is to strengthen its partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, providing the equivalent of 7 million meals a year in the UK.

Figures published today, on World Food Day, by FareShare reveal it is facing record levels of demand for its services.

FareShare now provides food to more than 1,000 charities across the UK – a 15% increase in just six months. More than 50,000 people a day are being fed through these charities.

Tesco will divert all surplus fresh food from its distribution centres and online grocery centres to support FareShare. This amounts to more than 2,300 tonnes a year. Items will include chicken, peppers and other fresh fruit and vegetables.

FareShare supports charities including homeless shelters, breakfast clubs for children and luncheon clubs for the elderly.

Rebecca Shelley, Tesco group corporate affairs director, said: “World Food Day is a timely reminder that food poverty is a growing problem in the UK and around the world.  Our scale puts us in a unique position to make a difference, so we’re building on our relationship with FareShare and through them we will be giving all our surplus fresh food to those who need it most. This will provide 7 million meals for people in the UK and will also help us to tackle food waste.”