A food redistribution enterprise has urged more charities to take surplus food off retailers' hands.

FoodCloud, which uses a smartphone app to match retailers' offers with charities' requirements, said it will facilitate the donation of over 40,000 meals nationwide over the Christmas period.

It is estimated that one million tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland every year. That is more than two billion meals.

Yet, at the last count, one in five children were going to school or bed hungry. 

Tesco's Sandymount store is one of the chain's 130 outlets, where staff alert FoodCloud each evening, with details of what they are taking off the shelf as food reaches its "sell-by" date. 

The company has been growing rapidly and will deliver 66% more food this Christmas than last.

Altogether 150 retail businesses are donating to over 300 charities in Ireland, while four pilot projects are under way with Tesco in the UK.