Minimising food waste and supporting the vulnerable
Annually many thousands of tonnes of food are wasted in the South West of England due to discontinued product lines, packaging errors or simply because fruit and vegetables are not up to the required specifications for sale. FareShare South West redistributes this perfectly edible food to groups working with vulnerable adults in and around Bristol, supporting hostels, day centres, refugee centres and addiction agencies.
One such group is Surplus Supper Club, the catering arm of FareShare South West. Run by a team of volunteers from all walks of life, they transform 'waste' food into delicious menus for events - as such they are a natural choice for Ecosurety whenever we are hosting our regular team and local training events.
In 2015 we interviewed Jacqui Reeves, CEO of FareShare South West and the driving force behind Surplus Supper Club, for a blog. She explained that their work is about far more than 'just' food waste:
"There are only six people employed here and we work with over 100 volunteers throughout the week. Over half of our volunteers are vulnerable in one way or another (mental health, addiction recovery) and we offer them the support to get on with their lives. The other half are working professionals or students, we encourage anyone to get involved." You can read the full interview here.
Can your organisation help FareShare?
With 20 FareShare regional centres across the UK, from Aberdeen to Brighton, there is probably one near you. If your organisation has food to give or you're a charity who could benefit from receiving food, find out more at www.fareshare.org.uk.
And if you happen to be based in Bristol, make sure you give Surplus Supper Club a try next time you have hungry mouths to feed in your organisation - take it from us you won't regret it!
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"In our South West branch alone we redistribute 30-40 tonnes of food a month. To put that into context: one tonne of food is equal to 2,381 meals and saves 0.5 tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere."
Jacqui Reeves, CEO of FareShare South West