We recently pledged to donate £10 to the charity FareShare for every member satisfaction survey completed - resulting in thousands of meals being redistributed to those in need.
Luke Wiechula, who coordinates corporate and community partnerships at FareShare, tells us more about what they do, how our donation will help and how others can support the cause too.
FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations. Together, we take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups.
The food we redistribute is nutritious, in-date and good to eat. It reaches charities across the UK, including school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes. Every week we provide enough food to create over a million meals for vulnerable people.
At FareShare it costs us 25p to get a meal to a vulnerable member of our society, this means that Ecosurety’s generous contribution is enough to allow FareShare to redistribute a phenomenal 2,440 meals!
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
At FareShare we will do everything we can to continue delivering food to vulnerable people. During this time of crisis, we are providing an emergency response, delivering vital food supplies to frontline organisations providing a lifeline to those most in need. These include older people and those with serious health conditions, and families facing severe financial hardship.
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, over 1,000 new charities have been signed up to get food so far (March to June) with the majority of these charities are providing food parcels for vulnerable people and families.
Most of the existing 11,000 charities we support are adapting their services to deliver food to people's doorsteps or create safe collection points. Some charities, for example homeless hostels and refuges, are operating as normal but are under increased strain as many are seeing a drop in voluntary income and staff shortages.
We’re now tripling the amount of food we're getting out to frontline charities since lockdown began. To date 11 of our regional centres have secured additional warehouse space and the number of charities who have applied to receive food from FareShare has more than tripled in the last few months.
What can individuals do to help?
We need emergency funding to do more than we've ever done under pressure. We have the capacity to double the amount of food we get out to vulnerable people during this crisis but to do this we need help.
Donations help us to run our delivery vans, support hundreds more frontline organisations to get food out to vulnerable people and pay for additional food storage facilities (e.g freezers, warehouses) to meet this unprecedented demand.
Importantly we need funding not only to meet the additional demand during the crisis, but also in the period that will follow as restrictions are lifted. In the event of a recession, charities and community groups providing food will need to support many more people facing financial hardship and food insecurity.
In addition, the charity sector looks set to see a huge drop in voluntary income (NCVO survey estimated 48%) so a reliable, affordable source of food for charities feeding people will be needed more than ever.
To make a donation that will support our services, please go to our homepage and follow the instructions after clicking the donate button.
Help us get more food
If you, or someone you know, works in the food industry we urgently need bulk donations of rice, pasta, tea, coffee and tins from food businesses. If you can help please go to our website for more information.
We are seeking donations of ambient and packet food from food businesses, as we anticipate many more charities will need to supply food parcels to those who are self-isolating. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the organisation and the offer. We also still require a full range of surplus fresh and frozen foods.
What can companies do to help?
Companies can donate to our emergency appeal and help us cover the operational costs to help get food to vulnerable people.
What can government do to help?
90% of edible surplus food in the UK supply chain is wasted, when it should be being eaten by people. FareShare last year received trial funding from government to enable the food industry to divert its surplus food to charities at no extra cost. This fund helped FareShare to unlock and redistribute an additional 2,200 tonnes of fresh food, including fruit and veg – enough to provide 5.2 million meals for vulnerable people.
We are now calling on government to accept the lessons from this trial and make available £5 million to support farmers, growers, manufacturers and distributors to safely and quickly divert food to FareShare without incurring additional costs – particularly during this critical time of unprecedented demand.
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.