Aldi is Giving All Unsold Food To the Needy For Christmas

The supermarket will close its doors early on Christmas Eve to distribute all unsold food to charity

About 500 Aldi stores in the United Kingdom will close their doors from 4 pm on Christmas Eve to December 27 to distribute all unsold food to the hungry.

The tradition started on Christmas Eve in 2017. The chain has given away about half a million meals worth of food on the holiday each year since.

“For every 2 tons of food we eat in the UK, another ton is wasted,” it says on Aldi’s website. “As the nation’s fastest growing supermarket, Aldi has a responsibility to tackle this major issue and to help fight food poverty and minimize environmental impact.”

Charities and food banks can register to receive donations on a first-come-first-served basis.

Participants in previous years have included Neighbourly, an award-winning social platform, Fareshare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and waste, and His Church, an organization which supplies surplus food, clothes and supplies to underprivileged and vulnerable people around the world.

The charities use the food to prepare hot meals for the homeless and needy throughout the holidays.

“Last year we were able to reach thousands of people across the UK, and some charities were even able to prepare fresh meals that fed families well into the New Year,” said Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility.

It’s not just on Christmas that Aldi donates surplus food – in 2018 the company distributed the equivalent of over 4 million meals year round.

The good deed is being praised on social media and charitable organizations hope it will inspire other large supermarket chains to follow suit.