About FoodCloud

FoodCloud (CRN 20101398 ) is an NGO with a vision for a world where no good food goes to waste. Working with over 600 community and volunteer organisations across Ireland, FoodCloud tackles the twin issues of food waste and food poverty. In 2020, FoodCloud redistributed 3,022 tonnes of food in Ireland which is the equivalent of 7.2 million meals. In Ireland, we waste one million tonnes of food annually, and at the same time, 1 in 13 people were reported to be experiencing food poverty before the pandemic hit.

FoodCloud uses innovative technology to connect supermarkets directly to their local community.  FoodCloud also has Regional Hubs which connect food businesses with large volumes of surplus food to community groups and charities across the Republic of Ireland. Our Hubs are located in Dublin (FoodCloud HQ), Galway and Cork. 

Our mission is to transform surplus food into opportunities to make the world a kinder place

We do this by:

  • Redistributing surplus food, thereby reducing food waste 
  • Creating opportunities for social inclusion through this redistributed food 
  • Inspiring communities to take local action for global change

Research Rationale

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, there has been an acute rise in the demand for food from FoodCloud. Although Food Poverty is not new in Ireland, the impact of the pandemic restrictions revealed the problem more than ever before.  The pandemic created an unprecedented crisis that left some people wondering how they were going to afford their next meal. Our communities responded quickly. A diverse sector of community groups and charities across the country organised new food distribution programmes and adapted their already important food services helping to build and maintain some resilience in our communities throughout this time.

This period has shone a light on the importance of the great work community groups and charities do to provide equitable and affordable access to food to those who need it.

Following our experience during the pandemic and the dramatic increase in demand for FoodCloud’s services, we are now commissioning this research to understand why we experienced this demand for food and to start to understand the issues around food poverty and access to good food.  

FoodCloud will commission this research to understand the experience of people accessing food through community groups and charities during the pandemic. The research will be undertaken with community groups, charities, and their service users who have experienced an increase in a need for food during this period.

This research will support FoodCloud to:

  1. Provide insight into the experience of food poverty in Ireland
  2. Identify the role played by community-led food services in building resilience in our communities through food.
  3. Inform the future provision of our services through understanding the role of the community groups and charities, and how we can best support them and their clients.
  4. Tell the stories of the individuals and communities we serve in order that we can continue to garner food donations and continued support from our stakeholders.

Request for Tender

In 2020/2021, FoodCloud experienced an increase in the demand for food. We wish to invite researchers to tender to complete research that will help us understand what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic to result in this increase.

This research will examine:

How community groups and charities supported people through the provision of food during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Research Brief

 This research will provide insight on:

  • The types of community groups and charities that provided food during this time
  • How the provision of food during Covid-19 was different from food provision before the pandemic
  • Why community groups and charities chose to provide food over other support
  • The ways in which community groups and charities connected and interacted with recipients during the pandemic
  • The experience of people accessing food, including the physical and psychological impacts of accessing food support, and the reasons people were in need during this time.

The research will also:

  • Provide insight into the challenges and opportunities experienced by providing food support during this time
  • Make recommendations on how FoodCloud and our organisations can further our support for our community network


  • Undertake mixed methodology research to evaluate individual experience and the community food responses to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Participatory research is welcome, such as the inclusion of participant charities/groups in the design phase.


  • All FoodCloud survey data and operational data will be made available for analysis
  • FoodCloud will assign an internal project lead to support the tenderer as required. This includes but is not limited to;
    • The provision of an induction into the FoodCloud organisation by way of overview
    • Upon advice from the tenderer, the FoodCloud project lead will support the tenderer in identifying suitable project participants.
    • The FoodCloud project lead will undertake all communications with research potential community organisation participants to arrange initiation of the project. and arrangement of research participants
    • FoodCloud project lead can be made available to support in other areas, upon request by the tenderer. 

Key deliverables

  • Regular communication arrangements with the FoodCloud project lead.
  • Minimum of 15 Key Community Organisation Interviews
  • Minimum of 9 Individual Client Interviews
  • At least three community group/charity focus groups
  • Provide a final written report and presentation on the report with recommendations for publication


The total budget for the research, including deliverables listed above and inclusive of VAT and all expenses, will not exceed €20,000.

Time Scale

For completion by October 29th, 2021

Expression of Interest

The selection of a tenderer to carry out the work will be made at the discretion of FoodCloud. Applicants should submit a tender document that addresses the points listed below. The tender document should be no more than 3,000 words (excluding CVs, which should be added as appendices).  Evaluation criteria and marking scheme as follows:

Experience (300)

  1. A statement demonstrating an understanding of the project and aims.
  2. Demonstrated understanding and track record on similar projects.
  3. An outline of skills, qualifications, experience, and interest in areas related to healthy community food systems and food insecurity.

Proposal (400)

  1. Proposed methodology for completing this project. The methodology should assume that the research may need to be conducted partly or completely remotely (rather than in person) to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.
  2. A work plan identifying the steps and timeline for completing the project by the due date.
  3. All material gathered and all deliverables will remain the sole property of FoodCloud and FoodCloud holds publication rights. Tenderers must agree to this condition in their proposals. Tenderers retain intellectual property rights.
  4. Costs, this must include:
    • Any issue that may impact on cost.
    • VAT and expenses.
    • A breakdown of days to complete the review. 
    • If applicable, a breakdown of the number of persons involved, cost per person, roles of persons involved.

Risk (300)

  1. Statement demonstrating compliance with GDPR and participant confidentiality requirements.
  2. Statement of the tenderer’s capability to undertake the project according to the timeline stated above.
  3. High-level risk analysis and contingency plan, including GDPR.

Communication  (100)

  1. Outline key areas that will require support from the FoodCloud project lead
  2. Proposed communication arrangements with the project lead to ensure effective completion of the review on time and within budget.

Based on the above criteria, shortlisted tenderers may be asked to meet with FoodCloud (July 2021) to discuss their proposal in more detail. Requirements for this meeting will be forwarded upon selection.

Tender applications should be brief, complete, and submitted on time. All tenders should be submitted using the following format:

  • The structure of all tenders should follow the headings outlined in the selection criteria above
  • Clear font formats; eg. Helvetica, open sans, or serif
  • PDF format

Queries or clarifications

For more information on the tender please email Eimear, with the subject title: ‘Question on Tender’.  Email:  [email protected]

Closing Date

Submissions by close of business July 16th, 2021 to [email protected]