£5m Lottery grant to help FareShare divert 25,000 tonnes of food from landfill annually
Food redistribution charity FareShare claims that the £5m of National Lottery funding it has been awarded this week will enable it to almost double the amount of food it redistributes and diverts from landfill.
The organisation received the Big Lottery Fund money to expand its 21 regional centres and estimates that the grant will enable it to divert more than 25,000 tonnes of edible food from landfill annually – up from its current figure of 13,500 tonnes – by redistributing it as meals for vulnerable families and communities
FareShare estimates this will provide an additional 62 million meals annually for three years in addition to the 28.6 million meals it currently distributes each year.
“We know there are millions of people experiencing food poverty, and through our network of charities, we can help them – but we need to get more surplus food in and out of our regional centres and into communities,” FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said.
“This generous National Lottery funding allows us to do just that, by enabling us to manage greater volumes of food into our regional centres, and out to the frontline charities.”
In order to process the extra food, FareShare will be undertaking a UK volunteer recruitment drive, aiming to increase the number of volunteers to more than 1,000 and the number of charities it helps to 13,000.
“The groups we support are under enormous strain. This funding will really help us work with more companies to access their surplus stocks, reduce food waste and improve the lives of millions of people through good food – all powered by the creation of hundreds of new volunteering opportunities,” Boswell added.
FareShare has already successfully collaborated with all of the major supermarkets on food redistribution programmes. It last year worked with Tesco on the national roll-out of a comprehensive and innovative online ‘FoodCloud’ platform, which has seen the supermarket pass on around 13 million meals for more than 2,200 charities.
The funding comes shortly after FareShare launched a campaign urging the government to introduce a £15m fund to tackle hunger by preventing food which could be eaten from going straight into landfill, animal feed or to anaerobic digestion.
The charity estimates that just 17,000 tonnes of the 270,000 tonnes of edible surplus food in the supply chain is redistributed annually to charities and wants ministers to create a level playing field for food waste, ending the inequality of the current system where producers and farmers bear the costs of sorting and transporting surplus food for human consumption.
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