Figures released today reveal FareShare received more surplus food than ever during 14/15 enabling it to divert a precious resource from going to waste whilst feeding thousands of vulnerable individuals and families.
FareShare received 7,360 tonnes of food that might have otherwise been disposed of or used for energy, a 33% increase on the previous twelve months. This increase is the result of the strengthening of the charity’s partnerships with key retailers, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as a wider recognition within the food industry, including manufacturers, that surplus food should be used to feed people in need.
At a time of increased awareness of food poverty, FareShare redistributed enough for 15.3 million meals and supported 1,923 charities and community projects. This was a 48% increase on the previous twelve months, meaning that a staggering 149,000 people received food each week.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO, said: “We are very encouraged by this positive trend and the response we have had from the food industry. We have been able to provide more food than ever to the charities and community organisations we support. Sadly they are dealing with issues that often entrench people in long term poverty and hunger. The organisations we work with offer services that are desperately needed now more than ever. They provide a safe place for vulnerable children, families and adults as well as supporting people to overcome addiction, homelessness and violence.”
There are thousands of organisations across the UK that provide hot meals and food parcels to vulnerable people, including the now almost 2,000 charities and community groups that FareShare supplies. Through its national network of 20 Regional Centres, it distributes food on a daily basis to projects such as lunch clubs, breakfast and after school clubs, refuges, homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centres.
FareShare provides mostly fresh food to these frontline organisations who turn this into nutritious meals, served on site, enabling them to better engage with the people accessing their services.
On average FareShare saves the charities it supplies around £13,000 per year which more than 80% then reinvest into additional and vital support services.
Lindsay Boswell continues: “By working with the industry we can provide good food to an increasing number of frontline organisations all of whom come to us to get ‘value for money’, at a time when they are struggling financially.
Food is often what draws a beneficiary into a charity but it’s the extra services, like counselling, employment advice and housing assistance that really count. These address the causes of poverty and that’s where the help really starts.”