Crunch time for festive food’s short shelf-life is solved through donkey donations

Truckloads of leftover carrots and parsnips have been donated to The Donkey Sanctuary by a supermarket giant.

The sacks of vegetables were given by Marks & Spencer, at Exe Bridges, Exeter, for the hundreds of donkeys and mules cared for by the Sidmouth-based sanctuary.

The carrots and parsnips were near their sell-by date and at risk of going to waste if an alternative use for them could not be found.

The vegetables have been shared among the sanctuary’s farms in Sidmouth and at Town Barton, in Tedburn St Mary.

The Donkey Sanctuary said the donations were made possible thanks to Linda Noble, an administrator at M&S Exe Bridges, who is ‘passionate’ about helping local charities during the festive period.

Linda Noble, M&S spokeswoman, said: “I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing all the veg away and I suddenly thought, ‘what do donkeys eat? Carrots of course!’

“I called The Donkey Sanctuary, in Sidmouth, and asked if they could use the veg which was nearing its sell-by date.”

A spokeswoman for The Donkey Sanctuary said: “The Donkey Sanctuary’s farms in Sidmouth and Town Barton, in Tedburn St Mary, were delighted to take the donated sacks of veg.

“Enterprising grooms could be seen using the carrots for enrichment activities, such as hiding them within regular haylage to encourage the donkeys’ instinctive foraging behaviour.”

She added: “Instead of letting sacks full of carrots and parsnips go to waste, farm groom Rosie Baker was thrilled to collect the food retailer’s donation in order to put it to better use, in the bellies of hundreds of rescued and relinquished donkeys and mules.”


  • All photos: The Donkey Sanctuary

Carrots in haylage to encourage the donkeys and mules to forage.

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The donkeys and mules waiting for their carrots and parsnips.

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The supermarket is also involved in the Neighbourly surplus free food project and supports charities working people in need over the festive season.


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