Follow that tomato

A day in pictures: redistributing surplus food in Yorkshire

A lot can happen to a surplus tomato. Once it’s been saved from waste and redistributed to charities, it could end up in a stew in a soup kitchen or as ingredient of the day in a cooking class.

We sent photographer Gemma Thorpe to follow our team in Yorkshire as they redistribute a tonne of tomatoes to see where the they would end up.

FareShare Yorkshore depot, volunteers loading van

A bright morning in FareShare Yorkshire’s Barnsley warehouse and intern Connor runs through that day’s planned deliveries to charities and community groups .

Loading surplus tomatoes onto the van FareShare Yorkshire

Volunteer Duncan loads surplus tomatoes, which have been redirected to FareShare from a food company, onto the FareShare Yorkshire van, ready for delivery to some of the 120 organisations that FareShare supports across the region.

FareShare delivery of surplus food at Emmaus Sheffield

Mid morning and the FareShare Yorkshire team pulls up outside Emmaus Sheffield, a residential community for the formerly homeless, with a delivery of tomatoes and more.

FareShare delivery of surplus food at Emmaus Sheffield

Stuart, a companion at Emmaus Sheffield, Community Support Manager Helen and volunteer Hilary take a look at the food that has arrived in the FareShare delivery.

FareShare Yorkshire delivery of surplus tomatoes to Emmaus Sheffield

Tomatoes, smoothies and chicken are among the food brought up to the kitchen in time for lunch.

Andy cooking at Emmaus Sheffield, 2014, Gemma Thorpe (32)

Andy, a companion at Emmaus Sheffield with a propensity for cooking, chops some of the surplus tomatoes ready to add to a buffalo mozzarella salad for lunch.

Lunchtime at Emmaus Sheffield

Lunch brings the whole Emmaus community together as everyone sits down to share food. As many homeless people risk malnourishment, eating regular home cooked meals at Emmaus is especially important. Community Support Manager Helen explains “When people arrive they are often quite skinny, but here they’re well fed and sometimes they bulk up. People become more interested in what they eat and it broadens their diet. They learn about nutrition and new food.”


FareShare volunteer drives the van to next charity delivery of surplus food

Back on the road with the FareShare Yorkshire van, and Duncan is delivering those tomatoes to more charities and community groups.

Boy cooking at Open Cast Doncaster

Last stop of the day is Open Cast in Doncaster, a centre helping young people outside mainstream education to re-engage with learning and work. Student Charlie is taking part in a cooking class.

As well as helping young people gain skills, Open Cast’s supportive atmosphere gives those with chaotic lives the stability needed to work through problems and become independent adults. Their cooking classes, which use FareShare food, are part of this as Manager Angie explains “Some of our most challenging students really respond to cooking. Baking a cake is therapeutic.”


Catering training at Open Cast Doncaster's Taste cafe

Our surplus tomatoes make it into fresh tomato soup at TASTE, a training restaurant for Open Cast students preparing them for entering employment.

FareShare Yorkshire staff and volunteers taking delivery of FareShare food

Back at FareShare Yorkshire and the team are taking delivery of more surplus food, ready to start again tomorrow.

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