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Meijer plans to expand a sustainability effort aimed at reducing food waste at its stores, officials announced Tuesday.

The initiative allows customers to buy items such as meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery products nearing the "sell-by" date at up to 50% off on the Flashfood app, then pick them up, the company said in a statement.

Meijer started a pilot program last fall at four stores in Metro Detroit: Brighton, Waterford Township, Commerce and Howell, according to the release.

“In just a few months, we diverted thousands of pounds of food from landfills,” said Don Sanderson, group vice president of fresh for Meijer. “Minimizing in-store food waste is the right thing to do for our communities and our customers. We’re excited to expand upon these efforts and offer this opportunity to all our customers.”

Meijer now plans to add the program to each of its 246 stores by the end of the year. Roll-out starts next month, officials said.

“Our team is really impressed with Meijer’s pace, their exceptional ability to execute with us and their commitment to meaningfully reduce in-store food waste in their communities,” said Josh Domingues, the founder and CEO of Flashfood. “Going from a pilot to the decision to roll out chain-wide in less than three months with Meijer is indicative of how significant our collective impact is for everyday Americans. I can’t wait for more Meijer customers to have access to the Flashfood app, save money on their groceries and collectively reduce food waste in an innovative, fun way.”

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