In September, Bournemouth received its first deliveries of surplus food from company FareShare. Six projects that work to support local people in need have started receiving deliveries of surplus food to provide hot meals and emergency packages for those in crisis.
FareShare works across the food industry to minimise fit-for-purpose fresh, frozen and long-life food going to waste, and sends this food to organisations working with the most vulnerable people in the community. Thousands of tonnes of perfectly good, in-date food is wasted across the country each year due to packaging errors, out of date promotions, discontinued lines and odd-shaped vegetables. At the same time, there are over 4 million people in the UK who cannot afford a healthy diet, among them homeless and elderly people, children, and people suffering mental and physical health problems.
Working with the Sustainable Food City Partnership for Bournemouth and Poole, six organisations have come forward to trial the FareShare scheme. The hope is that their experience of receiving low cost, high quality surplus food will encourage more groups to sign up and benefit from the service that FareShare offers.
Sarah Watson, Manager of the Food City Partnership says, “There is much hidden food poverty in Bournemouth and Poole that often isn’t recognised or gets overlooked. This is why we are launching a food poverty campaign to take the fight against food poverty beyond the food bank, to find real solutions to people in our town going hungry. The provision of surplus food is not a long term answer but at least it means that people in need are getting fed.”
Erika from Crumbs, the disability training charity, and one of the first organisations to pilot FareShare, says, “This scheme is making a real difference for us. We’re getting great quality products at an incredibly low cost and FareShare are working with us to make sure the deliveries suit our needs. We’ve also become the pick-up point for other groups in Bournemouth to collect their FareShare delivery and that has meant we’ve also benefited from talking to like-minded organisations. We’d love to see more and more local projects benefit and would encourage them to get involved.”
FareShare is looking to get more projects signed up to receive surplus food, and the first few months will be delivered for free to give the project an opportunity to try the scheme before having to pay the small fee. An expansion into Poole is also on the cards, with several community organisations already requesting that FareShare is available across the conurbation. Community groups and projects are invited along to an informal drop-in morning at the Crumbs Community project to see how FareShare works, what is included in a delivery and ask any questions. The event is taking place between 10.30am and 12pm on Monday 5 October at 20a Hibberd Court, Hibberd Way, BH10 4EP and everyone is very welcome.