Supporting communities to relieve food poverty

Comment on the Daily Mail article, published 9 June:

Last year, FareShare redirected enough food for 12 million meals to 1,296 frontline charities and community projects, which provide food and other support to vulnerable people in society. A lot of these charities, including independent food banks, directly helped people who could not afford food. However, our member charities stretch beyond simply providing food for those who do not have money in their pockets to go out and purchase it themselves, going further to tackle the wider issues of food poverty and address why those living in food poverty are struggling to access food.

Food poverty is not simply a lack of money. People in food poverty are defined as those with low or no income, those who have poor access to affordable nutritious food and those who lack the knowledge, skills or equipment to ensure food is safe and prepared properly. We believe that the government response, and subsequent media coverage, to the recent report by Oxfam has oversimplified the issue and failed to grasp this definition.

FareShare’s mission does not stop at providing food. Through the food we redistribute, we empower the charities we supply to help their beneficiaries tackle the reasons why they are unable to access food for themselves. These reasons can include low household income, but also factors such as lack of education, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, seeking refuge from domestic violence and being physically unable to prepare nutritious food.

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.

Man Eating FareShare Food

food for our work

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When we spoke to our charity members, 59% of them said that they had seen an increase in the number of people turning to them for food whilst 42% were facing funding cuts. More than one in ten said they would either have to stop providing food or reduce their level of service as a direct result of the cuts. Furthermore, 70% also fear that demand for their services will only increase in the future.

The need for food is real. At FareShare, our simple approach works. By engaging effectively with the food industry, including manufacturers and retailers, we ensure that good food is diverted from waste streams and used for its purpose.

Last year, FareShare saved charities and community organisations a total of more than £16 million on their food bills. More than 80% of these charities invested the savings into additional support services for their clients, helping address the wider causes of why they are struggling to feed themselves.

The Trussell Trust has also written a response to the article. Read it here.


Additional Information

  •  At FareShare, we work with over 1,290 charities, all of which deal with the issue of food poverty and its underlying causes. These charities include homeless shelters, breakfast clubs and luncheons clubs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation units and women’s refuge centres.
  • We have strict criteria to ensure that all of the charities that we offer food to, not only provide nutritious, balanced meals to vulnerable people who would otherwise not be able to access it, but also offer additional services to help people address the reasons why they cannot feed themselves.
  • In the last year, we have seen a 41% increase in the number of charities receiving food from FareShare
  • At FareShare, we address the twin issues of food waste and hunger


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