Funds donated by the King will help hundreds of food banks and community groups across the UK to store more food by providing them with fridges and freezers.
The white goods will be distributed to local charities, food banks and social pantries identified by the Felix Project in London and across the UK by The Trussell Trust, FareShare and British Asian Trust.
The £1 million starting fund includes a “substantial personal donation” from Charles, a grant from The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and donations from a range of funders, the Felix Project said.
An initial 800 fridges and freezers will be delivered between now and spring.
Between Christmas Eve and the new year is usually a time when food donations ramp up, however, food banks without adequate cold storage have to turn away fresh or frozen food.
The new fridges and freezers will enable these groups to store more food, which can be drawn on later down the line at times when donations dip, as well as reducing food waste.
Felix Project chief executive Charlotte Hill said: “At Christmas we see a huge increase in surplus donations, yet unfortunately in previous years we have had to turn down tens of thousands of kilos of food.
“We knew freezing the food would be a good solution.
“Now thanks to this incredible donation from his majesty the King, and a range of funders, we will not only be able to freeze and store vast quantities of food, we will be protected when food supplies are low due to seasonal dips, and we can create a long-lasting infrastructure for our community partners that will help people for many years to come.”
Baroness Louise Casey, a trustee of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, said: “This action will mean many more food banks and charities across the UK will be able to store more fresh food and reduce the tragedy of food waste in the winter months ahead.
“This is the right thing to do for those in need, the sustainable environment, and especially at this time of year when so many citizens want to offer their help.”