FareShare is an award winning UK charity that fights hunger and food waste. We rescue good food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to people who need it, benefitting vulnerable people, helping the UK food economy and protecting the planet.
Set up in 1994, we now work with more than 100 food suppliers and manufacturers to redirect good food from waste to charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people. Last year, through our 20 Regional Centres across the country, FareShare redistributed good quality surplus food to over 1,923 charities and community projects – that’s enough food for 15.3 million meals.
But the need for FareShare is bigger than ever – 5.8 million people in the UK live in ‘deep poverty’ making it hard for them to afford everyday essentials, including food. At the same time, 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food and drink industry every year.
FareShare estimates that up to 400,000 tonnes of this is surplus and fit for human consumption, enough food for 800 million meals. We currently handle around 2% of the surplus food available in the UK – but we’re aiming to increase this to 25%.
FareShare relies on the energy and dedication of a huge army of volunteers of packers, sorters and drivers. We provide structured training for those who are out of work, helping to start the transition from long–term unemployment to a more positive future.
It’s about more than meals. The organisations we supply food to – from breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children, to homeless hostels, community cafes and domestic violence refuges – provide life changing support, as well as lunch and dinner.
By receiving food from FareShare these organisations are able to save on average £13,000 each year, which can be reinvested in essential programmes to help the beneficiaries – such as housing, educational programmes, essential equipment, counselling and life skills training to help people back on their feet.
One of the charities benefiting from FareShare food is Dudhope Villa, which provides 24-hour supported accommodation for over 60 adults in the Dundee community. Their youngest resident is only 18. They work with vulnerable people including those with learning difficulties and mental health problems. Without the support of Dudhope Villa, they would not be able to live independently.
Helen Couttie, Assistant Manager, Dudhope Villa says “We provide people with support that allows them to complete day to day tasks. Without us they wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life. We cook approximately 70 meals per day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner for our residents, and as a result of the money we have saved, we are able to provide additional services to the people who need it most.”
The variety of meals Dudhope Villa can make as a direct result of receiving food from FareShare means their residents are not only healthier but also happier. “FareShare provides us with a great variety of produce including dairy products, meat and sauces, along with fresh fruit and vegetables. This is often produce we wouldn’t be able to afford,” says Helen.