Food charity calls on South West food businesses to redirect their surplus

FareShare South West, the region’s largest food redistribution charity who fight hunger whilst tackling food waste, is calling on South West food businesses to redirect their surplus food to them, without delay.

The food will help the charity make a greater impact this summer as they aim to supply over 50 holiday projects across the region, in a bid to prevent children falling through the gaps and going hungry throughout the 6-week school break.

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Note: Image from 2019. Left to right: Christopher and Mohammed at a holiday project in Bristol

Lucy Bearn, Director of Operations at FareShare South West explains: “We’re asking for local food businesses, who have surplus food, to simply get in touch and discover how easy it would be for them to redirect that surplus and make a huge difference.

“Every year 250,000 tonnes of food which is processed, packaged and ready-to-eat is wasted by producers, manufacturers and retailers in the UK supply chain for reasons ranging from inaccurate demand forecasting, packaging errors, damage in transit or retailer rejections. FareShare South West provides a flexible and easy way of working together to ensure good quality surplus food never reaches a bin.

We know food insecurity was a significant social issue before the pandemic, and in the wake of it, with furlough coming to a close and with the 6 week summer holidays ahead for families, we’re determined to be the safety net, preventing people from falling into more complex issues relating to poverty.”

The charity’s normal operations see surplus food reach over 300 smaller charities, community centres and schools in the South West. During the pandemic the charity increased their operation by 6 times, distributing enough emergency food for over 6 million meals in just a 12 month period.

Lucy Bearn continues: “Last financial year alone, the UK wide FareShare network saved 25,000 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food from waste – enough to provide 56million meals. But the reality is what we are saving is only a drop in the ocean. Saving just 1% more of the total good-to-eat surplus food from waste could provide enough food for 33 million more meals.”

FareShare South West already receives surplus food from local suppliers, including Essential Trading, Wyke Farms and Pieminister, but with increasing demand for food support the charity is keen to grow their local network further. Those interested should email [email protected] or visit www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk for more information.

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