Minister Canney welcomes selection of FoodCloud as First Awardee of Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s new Growth Fund

Published 30 October 2018

Mr. Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, today (30 October) welcomes the selection of FoodCloud as the first recipient of funding under Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s new Growth Fund. This fund is being supported by both AIB and the Department of Rural and Community Development, from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

FoodCloud’s technology platform connects food businesses directly to local charities to donate surplus food. Businesses can upload information regarding surplus foods to the FoodCloud app, which sends out a message to charities that the food is available for collection. FoodCloud’s three Hubs in Galway, Dublin and Cork store and distribute tonnes of food annually to charities around the country.

Minister Canney said: “FoodCloud is a wonderful example of the impact of social enterprise in Ireland.  A simple concept to match retailers with surplus food and charities has seen some 40 million meals distributed to date. Food donations provide essential support to charities by enabling them to save money on their food bills, in some instances up to 80%, which they instead can redirect to improving their services to the people they support. I am delighted that my Department, through Social Innovation Fund Ireland, will help FoodCloud broaden its reach and deepen its impact.”

Over the next three years, AIB has committed to investing €500,000 per annum in FoodCloud and Minister Canney said that he looks forward to providing match funding, through the Dormant Accounts Fund. SIFI was created by Government in 2014 to provide growth capital to Ireland’s best social innovations.

The funding will enable FoodCloud to invest in future proofing their bespoke retailer technology and build a resilient tech solution that can support the projected growth in 2018-2020.

​ENDS

Note to editors:

About FoodCloud

Ireland generates over one million tonnes of waste annually, while one in eight people are experiencing food poverty daily. FoodCloud started in Ireland in 2013 by creating a technology solution that connects food businesses directly to local charities to donate surplus food. Businesses can upload information regarding surplus foods to the FoodCloud app, which sends out a message to charities that the food is available for collection.

The company has grown rapidly since its inception and has redistributed over 40 million meals to over 9,500 charities all over Ireland and the UK.

FoodCloud Hubs (FoodCloud’s warehouse distribution model located in Cork, Galway and Dublin) works directly with farmers and the food industry to rescue and then redistribute surplus to charities and community groups all over Ireland. This redistribution allows charities to reallocate funding, that would otherwise have been spent on food, towards their core service and support their underlying mission.

About Social Innovation Fund Ireland:

Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s purpose is to find and back innovative solutions to critical social issues in Ireland. SIFI is a charity created by the Government to establish a philanthropic fund of significant size to impact and aid the development of social innovation, working to build the Ireland we all want to live and work in. In partnership with others, SIFI supports innovations that enable healthy, resilient communities, and tackles issues like educational disadvantage and exclusion. SIFI backs social innovators to sustain, scale and maximise their impact. Government matches philanthropic donations euro for euro through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Board members include: Terence O’Rourke (Chair), John Higgins, Caitriona Fottrell, Shane Deasy, Dalton Philips, Alf Smiddy, and Barbara McCarthy. Deirdre Mortell is the CEO.

About the Department of Rural and Community Development:

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established on 19th July 2017 to provide a renewed and consolidated focus on rural and community development in Ireland. The consolidation into a new Department of both policy and supports in respect of community and rural development provides the means for a greater focus on creating vibrant and sustainable communities. The Department also has responsibility for ensuring arrangements for strong oversight of the charities sector through facilitating the charities regulatory authority in carrying-out its independent statutory role.