Sourdough pizza specialist Franco Manca has pledged to turn surplus dough into fresh sourdough bread for those most in need this Christmas and beyond.

The initiative, which launched on 9 December and will continue throughout 2020, aims to help those without food or shelter. It also supports the company’s aim to reduce food waste across each of its UK-based sites, Franco Manca added.

Sourdough loaves will be distributed to local soup kitchens, charities and shelters across the UK.

The business has also vowed to donate 40,000 free pizzas to those who require them most during the month of December.

As part of this, staff at select Franco Manca restaurants will work on Christmas Day, providing a free collection service for anyone who is unable to enjoy a festive dinner.

“At Franco Manca, we always try to give back to our local communities. This year, we’re truly happy to announce that we are doubling our 2018 pledge by offering 40,000 pizzas to those who face a tough time over the festive period,” said Javed Akhtar, operations director at Franco Manca.

“We are so proud to extend this support around our pizzerias with the launch of a new and exciting year-round initiative, delivering freshly baked pizzas made from our sourdough to charities and soup kitchens.”

Charities, shelters, food banks and members of the public are encouraged to contact Franco Manca to arrange a collection of fresh bread or cooked pizzas via its website. The pizzeria has also encouraged the UK public to share recommendations of organisations that it can assist.

The 40,000 free pizzas will be available for collection from all pizzerias nationwide, with the Christmas day offering available at selected pizzerias across the UK in London at the Tottenham Court Road and Bristol sites.

“Not only do we hope this will help those most in need for months to come, it will also support our aim to limit our food waste across the business, something we think should be a focus for all like-minded, conscientious restaurants across the UK,” Akhtar added.