Asda said its new partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare is the first of its kind and will mean an extra 3.6 million meals will go to those in need every year.
When surplus stock that is not needed is received by supermarkets, it is usually returned to the manufacturer and often goes to waste, according to an Asda spokesman. The new scheme will see it sent to Fareshare instead where it would then go to local charities.
FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: "This partnership involves the redistribution of surplus food at unprecedented levels never before undertaken by a retailer on this scale in the UK.
"We also know that there are more people turning to charities for food than at any other time in FareShare's history. This initiative will mean we can provide more food to more charities and will enable us to feed even more people at a time of real need.
"Not only will this programme have immense environmental impact by diverting food away from the waste stream, it will also save hundreds of charities millions of pounds a year.
Barry Williams, chief merchandising officer for food at Asda, said: "It's hard to believe that in this day in age, nearly four million adults and children in the UK go to bed hungry each year.
"Food poverty is a very real problem and it's getting worse, not better. Through our new supply chain model and work with FareShare, I'm proud that we're able to help feed millions of vulnerable people around the UK who would otherwise go hungry."
He said he hoped other supermarkets would follow suit.
- Express supermarket stores 10% pricier
- Millions use savings for groceries
- What to do if you are retired and still in debt