Britain's biggest supermarket has launched a new scheme to help struggling families access free food across the UK.

The retail giant has teamed up with food-sharing app Olio to make more of its surplus food available to households for free.

It means customers will be able to pick up food and drink without paying a penny - including essential items such as bread and milk.

The partnership has already been trialled at 250 Tesco stores with high levels of surplus food, resulting in almost 195,000 portions of food being saved, and is now being extended to all of its stores.

Olio has over 8,000 "Food Waste Heroes" dotted around the UK who will collect the stock from Tesco and upload it onto the website for the public to browse.

Tesco head of communities, Claire De Silva said: “We are very proud of our food waste work and our Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare helps thousands of charities every week. 

“Right now we want to make sure that any surplus food is being managed and people who need it have access to it. 

“The results of our initial trial were very positive and have allowed us to further roll out the partnership in our commitment to make sure no good food goes to waste.” 

A branch of Tesco
Anyone can access the free food via the Olio app

Though the food will be close to its sell-by date, Olio is registered with the Food Standards Agency to make sure any food that's collected is still safe to be eaten.

People and community groups nearby can then pick up the food from an agreed, no-contact collection point. To help with social distancing, food items can be picked up from a front garden or wall outside someone's house.

How can I access the food?

To find Tesco produce on the app, you'll need to download the app or visit the Olio website. You can then narrow your search down to 'Food Waste Heroes' to help find Tesco items only.

Don't forget that Olio's a sharing community, so if you're able to spare it, you can offer free food as well as claiming.

Get the latest money advice, news and help straight to your inbox - sign up at