UK Supermarkets Petitioned to Donate Unsold Food

July 19, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unsold / ˌʌnˈsoʊld / (adj.) – not yet purchased
Example: All unsold food will be donated to the homeless.

2. donate / ˈdoʊ neɪt / (v.) – to freely give something to help other people
Example: We donated money to a charity.

3. wastage / ˈweɪ stɪdʒ / (n.) – the act of using more than what is necessary
Example: The government is trying to prevent further food wastage.

4. privileged / ˈprɪv ə lɪdʒd / (adj.) – having things that most people don’t have
Example: Some privileged people donate money to help the poor.

5. recipient / rɪˈsɪp i ənt / (n.) – someone who receives something
Example: Our charity is one of the recipients of the donation.


Read the text below.
Many people in the United Kingdom signed a petition to make supermarkets give their unsold food to charities.

This petition was inspired by a legislation passed in France that requires supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need. This legislation, which will take effect on July 2016, is part of a plan to decrease France’s food wastage by 50% in the next decade. Should French supermarkets fail to comply with this policy, they will have to pay a fine of 75,000.

Lizzie Swarf posted this petition on the website of the 38 Degrees campaign. As of June 9, more than 174,000 British citizens have already signed the said petition. With this number, the petition can be officially filed on the government’s website, which would urge the Parliament to debate on and consider the campaign.

Swarf explains that this campaign will not only prevent food wastage but will also help the poor gain access to food products that are still safe to eat. As part of the campaign, Swarf also proposes that privileged shoppers donate £2 for each of their purchases. The generated fund will be used to make sure that those in need will receive fresh fruits and vegetables.

While the petition was still collecting signatures, a supermarket chain in the United Kingdom already started donating its unsold food products to charities. Tesco launched this scheme in 10 of its stores in the United Kingdom to prevent its products from going to waste. Among the recipients of the products from Tesco are women refugees and children.

Sainsbury's [SEYNS-buh-rees] and Morrisons, two major supermarkets in the United Kingdom, have already started this practice years ago.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the chance, would you sign this petition? Why or why not?
·         Do you think this scheme will be useful in your country? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Do you think food wastage will increase in the future? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are other ways to prevent food wastage?

July 19, 2015