A regional food charity will have the capacity to provide an additional 265,000 more meals to vulnerable and low-income people each year thanks largely to the funding of a new van.

FareShare South West, based in Bristol, is one of the regional operations of FareShare UK, and reduces food waste by diverting quality, surplus food within the supply chain to more than 250 frontline community groups and charities across the South West. Projects include homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, rehabilitation centres and lunch clubs for older people.

The new van, along with a new, recently installed industrial chiller, will afford the charity extra capacity to recruit up to 31 new local charities and community groups in the next year. FareShare estimates the additional food it provides to frontline organisations could reach up to 3,317 more people at risk of hunger across the region.

Official statistics show that more than one in four children in Bristol are living in poverty with many families struggling on a daily basis to afford food. The need for FareShare’s service has never been higher and the new van was therefore vital in order to meet the needs of the region’s most vulnerable people.

This increased impact and capacity to support the community has been made possible thanks to investment from Asda as part of Fight Hunger Create Change – a partnership between Asda, FareShare and the Trussell Trust which aims to support one million people in poverty across the UK. Over the course of three years, Asda is investing over £20 million to enable both charities to invest in infrastructure and offer more fresh food and crucial support and advice to people in need.

Julian Mines, CEO at FareShare South West, said:

“FareShare has been fighting hunger and food waste across the South West for over 11 years, and in that time our impact has grown significantly– we’re now on average diverting more than seven tonnes of fresh surplus food to frontline charities each week. In the last 12 months alone we provided enough food to create over 1 million meals for people in need. 

“But we know there is a demand for more support, with many families living hand-to-mouth – which is why we welcome Asda’s investment.

“If you would like to get involved and support, either by donating or volunteering, please get in touch. With the addition of this new van, we are especially looking for drivers and driver’s mates to help us deliver food across Bristol and the South West.”

For more information and to find out how you can support FareShare South West, visit www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk