Rise in businesses donating food to charities during coronavirus pandemic

FareShare has announced that almost 25% more businesses have signed up to divert surplus food to organisations supporting people in need since lockdown measures began.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, FareShare was working with around 600 food partners to divert surplus food that would otherwise have been wasted to frontline charities such as homeless hostels, food banks, breakfast clubs for children and domestic violence refuges.

The charity has announced that an additional 144 businesses across the supply chain are now diverting their surplus food to charities, or donating packets and tins to meet the increased demand from charities for ambient food to create food parcels.

As a response to the overnight shutdown of the food sector in March, Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford made a successful plea to the public and tweeted last month that FareShare were helping to supply 3.7 million meals per week to vulnerable people across the UK.

With the support of new and existing food partners, FareShare has now tripled the amount of food it distributes each week.

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of new businesses getting in touch to divert their surplus food, or donating much-needed packets and tins. The unwavering support of our food partners has been the critical factor in helping us triple the amount of food we’re getting out to those in desperate need during this crisis.

“However, as we head into a period of recession, we know many more people who’d previously been ‘just about getting by’ will now be at greater risk of food insecurity and hunger. With the continued support of our food partners we’re gearing up to ensure we can continue getting food onto the plates of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities in the very difficult months and years to come.”

Kabuto Noodles first diverted food to FareShare in June. So far, the business has helped FareShare distribute an additional 2.3 tonnes of noodle pots & ramen meal kits, enough to provide 32,580 meals.

Crispin Busk, Founder & MD at Kabuto Noodles, said: “We at Kabuto wanted to help in these strange times, and FareShare are a great partner to work with. The work they do is truly life changing and we’re proud to have donated over 32,000 meals so far.”

FareShare announced that an additional 144 businesses across the supply chain are now diverting their surplus food to charities. (Marcus Winkler, Unsplash)

An additional four tonnes of cheese and butter has also been provided to FareShare by Barber’s Cheesemakers. The dairy producer first diverted food to FareShare in April 2020. So far, food diverted to FareShare by the business will contribute towards more than 50,000 meals.

Charlie Barber, Commercial Director at Barber’s Cheesemakers, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help FareShare in the critical role they play in supporting some of the most vulnerable. Having now made the connection to FareShare we would like to provide support on an ongoing basis and look forward to sending more cheese and butter in the future.”

Supermarket chains across the UK have also been joining together to offer their help to the charity.

Sainsbury’s donated £3 million at the start of lockdown, while Co-op donated £1.5 million worth of food and pulled its Easter TV advertising campaign, donating the airtime (worth £2.5m) to raise money for FareShare’s emergency coronavirus appeal. 

Asda donated £5 million to its partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust, while Tesco donated 50 million meals worth of food from its stores to charities and community groups across the UK via FareShare Go.

You can learn more about the amazing work that FareShare do on their website.

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