Leonardo in Luton teams up with food donation company to help feed families in need

It’s helped feed seven families
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As the cost of living continues to challenge families across the UK, aerospace engineering company Leonardo has collaborated with food donation company Olio to donate excess food from its sites in Luton, Basildon, Edinburgh, Southampton and Yeovil.

Since the start of the partnership in March 2023, the Leonardo site in Luton has rescued 53 meals, which have gone on to feed 7 families. This has saved 96kgs of Co2 from entering the atmosphere, preventing 17,000 litres of water from going to waste. This is equivalent to planting 4 trees, and taking 327 car miles off the road.

Olio is a mobile app where neighbours and local shops and cafes can share surplus food, so that local communities can benefit. Food-safety trained volunteers collect and check the food at the end of each day, then add it the app so that people living nearby can request it and pick it up.

Nina Currin at Leonardo in Luton has food ready for a donation.Nina Currin at Leonardo in Luton has food ready for a donation.
Nina Currin at Leonardo in Luton has food ready for a donation.

The scheme emerged when Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of Olio realised she had perfectly edible food her family hadn’t managed to eat when she was moving home. It was from this moment that the idea for Olio was born.

Tessa said: “One-third of all the food produced each year gets thrown away, meanwhile 800 million people go to bed hungry each night, and the impact of food waste is environmentally devastating. If it were to be a country, it would be the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the USA and China.”

Leonardo Sustainability Spokesperson Zevi Watmough said: “Olio allows families to access food privately for free, rather than relying on food banks in their local area. This private approach allows people to avoid any sense of stigma, which is particularly important when they are already going through a difficult time. We are grateful to Olio for the work that they do and we also value the fact that reducing food waste has the benefit of lowering the carbon footprint of our operations in the local community.”

Launched in 2015 with the sole purpose of tackling food waste, Olio now has more than 8.5 million users worldwide, and a UK network of over 97,000 Food Waste Heroes.

Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of OlioTessa Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of Olio
Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of Olio

Leonardo is one of the UK's leading aerospace companies and one of biggest suppliers of defence and security equipment to the UK MOD. Leonardo makes a significant contribution to the UK economy with revenues of £1.9bn, around 45% of which are in export. The company operates from 8 main sites across the UK employing over 8,000 highly skilled people.