An urgent appeal for food donations has been launched by FareShare South West, with families potentially being put at risk if their numbers do not increase.
FareShare South West, the region’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, is calling on farmers, food producers and retailers to help get good-to-eat food, that may otherwise go to waste, to its network of 400 charities.
FareShare South West relies on the food industry to provide an essential boost ahead of the busy summer holidays, which will see the charity scale up its operations to deliver food to children’s holiday clubs as part of the government’s Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) programme.
As part of the greater FareShare network of around 20 charitable food redistributors, FareShare South West works with the food industry to rescue good-to-eat surplus food and deliver it to those that need it.
Every week, 250 volunteers sort and pack tonnes of good-quality food into crates, and load them into the fleet of FareShare South West vans.
From there, they deliver to homelessness shelters, rehab centres, kids’ breakfast clubs, support groups for older people.
These organisations use the food to provide meals and food parcels for people who are struggling to get by.
As well as deliveries from national partners, FareShare South West receives food from South West suppliers including Hobbs House Bakery, Riverford Organic, Wyke Farms, Yeo Valley, Single Variety Co. and Raviollie, among others.
Gene Joyner, CEO at FareShare South West said: “The cost-of-living crisis continues to hit hard across the South West and the 400 charities we support all report exceptionally high levels of demand for their services.
“We are enormously grateful to our existing supporters in the food industry, who continue to do all they can to provide us with surplus food, but sadly demand continues to outstrip supply.
“Ongoing supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, and high energy costs are all factors impacting the availability of food surplus for redistribution.
“However, in all regions across the UK, we desperately need additional food from local sources to help boost our supplies.
“We are calling on any food suppliers in the South West to get in touch with us about getting more food to the people we support and help our charities continue providing vital services in the community.”
To help get food to people in the South West who need it most, and not let it go to waste, contact [email protected].