FareShare now feeds more people than it has ever done before.
The food redistribution charity now feeds 43, 700 people across the country every day. That’s 7,200 more meals a day than it was providing the year before, and the highest amount since the charity started in 2004.
FareShare redistributes surplus food from the food industry to 910 local charities across the UK. Over the past year it has provided food for more than 10 million meals nationwide.
But the demand just keeps soaring.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO said:
“Last year we fed more people than ever before but we know the demand for our services is increasing at an alarming rate. The recession, rising cost of living and unemployment all mean there are more people turning to charities for food than at any other time in FareShare’s history.”
More and more charities are signing up to FareShare, as cuts to charities’ funding as well as increasing demand for their services mean many would otherwise have to turn their clients away hungry. Food from FareShare was redistributed to 910 charities, a 26 per cent increase from the year before and the biggest annual increase in charity membership FareShare has ever seen.
The charity supplies food to several foodbanks across the country, including the independently owned New Cross food bank in Lewisham, which the foodbankers profiled last week here.
FareShare redistributed 4,200 tonnes of food in the last twelve months, 600 more tonnes than the previous year. More than 88% off this food was surplus, meaning it is in-date and can still be eaten but would have otherwise gone to waste. Mr Boswell said:
“The amount of food we redistributed increased by 16% last year. However the number of charities we’re supporting increased by 26% and we know there are many more out there that need our support. We have a mountain to climb. We estimate that we handle less than 1% of the surplus food available so we desperately need more responsible food businesses to work with us.”
Fiona Twycross, Labour assembly member and author of the London Assembly’s report on food poverty, has criticized supermarkets for not doing enough to redistribute surplus food.
She told the foodbankers: “Supermarkets and other food producers should go further in their social corporate responsibility. In recent years the amount of food donated by the supermarkets to charities like Food Cycle and FareShare has increased.
“Supermarkets and food producers usually know in advance that a large proportion of their food will be wasted. They need to do even more to ensure that all of their consumable excess food – and more – ends up in the hands of charities able to get it to those who need it, rather than sending it landfill.”
You can see Fiona guest post for us on food poverty in London here.
FareShare has been operating since 2004 and now has 17 centres across the UK. It provides food for food banks, shelters, hostels, day-care centres and breakfast clubs for school children. 88 per cent of the food it distributes would have otherwise gone to waste, saving the food business 1,850 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well providing food for some of the most vulnerable people in society.