The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has gifted thousands of unused ration packs to a charity which will share them with community groups, the homeless and the elderly.
The donation will reach some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the UK – whilst meeting new sustainability targets in the ministry.
The 14,000 Operational Ration Packs (ORP) have been given to FareShare, a food distribution service that works with over 11,000 other charities in the UK.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: "FareShare does an excellent job of getting proper nutrition to those who need it most, distributing food to thousands of charities around the country.
"I am proud that our ration pack donation supports their goals whilst reducing unnecessary food waste."
The donated packs are used for group meals and include enough food to feed ten soldiers for a 24-hour period.
Improved packs include traditional favourites such as boiled sweets, baked beans and hot chocolate alongside newer items such as chicken tikka masala and chilli con carne.
The military gets through around two million packs every year, with less than 1% requiring disposal.
A commitment by the MOD, to reduce waste in an environmentally friendly way, prompted the MOD to start donating them.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said the group is “delighted” to help put surplus MOD food to "good causes".
"Because these packs don’t need refrigeration they are ideal for winter night shelters where volunteers need to make food quickly, or to offer out to families in temporary accommodation who might only have access to a kettle or a hob at Christmas time," Lindsay explained.
Cover image: MOD.