What do the Olympics, Glastonbury, an ox-tongue and giant Cornish pasty flown in by Flybe have in common?

All have contributed to provide enough food for 67m meals through FareShare

1 August 2014

The Olympic Games in London in 2012, this year’s Glastonbury festival, an ox-tongue and a giant Cornish pasty flown in by Flybe have all contributed to provide enough food for 67 million meals through food redistribution charity FareShare.

FareShare which celebrates its’ 10th birthday this year as an independent organisation, has 18 regional centres across the UK, all of which have redistributed some very unusual items over the past decade.  These include surplus food from the London 2012 Olympic Games which was delivered to the FareShare depot in Deptford, London.  All fresh leftover food at this year’s Glastonbury Festival was saved by FareShare in the South West and taken to local charities nearby including Windsor Hill Wood hostel in Somerset.

giant Cornish pasty flown in by Flybe from Cornwall to Scotland ended up feeding around 20 residents at a homeless hostel in Edinburgh.  Flybe delivered the custom made baked pastry to FareShare in Scotland, when they launched their first flight from Newquay in Cornwall to Edinburgh.  The FareShare regional centre in Edinburgh in turn delivered it to Cross Reach Cunningham House.

A large ox-tongue was delivered to FareShare in South Wales and all FareShare regional centres have often received Easter eggs in December and Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings at Easter.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare said: We have had some very unusual items delivered to FareShare from health food products to gourmet items.  This surplus food from the food and drink industry enables us to deliver fresh, healthy and tasty food to small local charities and organisations across the UK assisting people experiencing food poverty.  The most important service we deliver is food for a healthy and varied diet as two of our most donated items are fruit and vegetables.”

Other unusual items includespider shaped bread, rainbow and ugly fruit and vegetables; purple and three legged carrots, curly and yellow courgettes in the shape of flowers, golden wax beans and heart shaped cucumbers.  FareShare regional centres across the UK have also redistributed gourmet food items such as quail eggs, caviar, Fortnum and Mason Gentleman’s Relish, Lobster Bisque, Lobster Thermidor and more unusually wood pigeon and guinea fowl in Manchester.

FareShare redistributes over 5,500 tonnes of surplus food from the food and drink industry which includes retailers, producers, wholesalers and suppliers.  It already provides over 1m meals a month from this surplus to feed over 62,000 people every day.  The charity estimates that there are up to 400,000 tonnes of surplus food potentially available which could provide a staggering 800m meals; equivalent to 13 meals per person in the UK.

The original FareShare was established in 1994 by homelessness charity Crisis and Sainsbury’s supermarket from a similar model in America which put surplus food to good use.  FareShare then became an independent organisation in 2004 to expand and now has 18 regional centres across the UK with more centres opening in Cornwall, Thames Valley and Kent this year.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare concluded:  “FareShare has been working with leading supermarkets and suppliers for over 10 years to rescue good food from going to waste and redirect it to people in need across the UK.  Over the past decade we’ve redistributed enough surplus to provide over 67m meals; a great milestone to reach in our 10th anniversary from only 1.5 per cent of surplus food.  FareShare has a successful and sustainable system to fight food hunger and its underlying causes and we need to grow this in order to meet what is sadly becoming a growing issue in modern day Britain.”


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