A SHOP selling “rescued food” opened for business in Edinburgh yesterday.

Customers at the Food Sharing Hub, on Bread Street, pay a donation for goods which would otherwise be thrown away. Campaigners estimate the equivalent of 54,000 meals is being thrown away weekly in the capital alone.

Shelves are stacked with fruit, vegetables and bakery products which supermarkets would previously have binned as they were past their best-before date.

A partnership with Tesco, the Co-op and Lidl allows volunteers to collect foodstuffs from five grocery stores and sell them off cheaply. Customers pay a £1 per month membership fee and can then fill a basket with food every day, for the price of a donation to help cover the costs.

A similar scheme has operated for the past five years, thanks to volunteers from the Shrub Co-op, but it involved small businesses rather than large corporations.

Hub co-ordinator Sydney Chandler, 33, said: “We have a huge variety of stuff – long-life milk, lettuce, apples, bread, rice, even cans of Red Bull. The supermarkets donate food which is still safe to eat, that doesn’t meet their brand standards, as opposed to legal standards.”

The shop opens on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 4pm.