SOUTH West’s food redistribution charity, FareShare South West, has revealed that they scaled their operations by six times from March 2020 – March 2021, delivering more food to frontline charities, schools and community groups across the South West region than ever before in the charity’s history.
The publication of FareShare South West’s annual impact report revealed that they redistributed enough food for a staggering 6.1 million meals in just a 12 month period. Much of the uplift in operations was as a result of the charity’s emergency food provision at key crisis points in the pandemic year, including their FoodStock 2020 campaign, which ran from November 2020 to March 2021, providing food at scale to frontline organisations, as well as ready-packed food parcels for smaller projects and initiatives.
CEO of FareShare South West, Julian Mines, said:
“The pandemic laid bare and exacerbated the issue of food poverty that we face here in the UK. In the early days of the pandemic, the need for food support soared, and our frontline partners – though having to operate in very different ways – saw huge demand for their services and an increased need to support users with food provisions. Though the health crisis may have abated, for now, food insecurity is still a daily reality for thousands of individuals and families across our region.
“Stepping up to deliver at this scale across the past year has not been without its challenges and has taken sleepless nights, hundreds of committed volunteers, a supportive community and a staff team I am so proud of. From launching emergency warehouses in Ashton Gate football stadium and bed depots to overhauling entire processes and establishing new partnerships with frontline charities in need of our food, the effort has been monumental. More importantly, the impact has been monumental. We’ve worked with 416 frontline charities, schools and community groups, and we estimate that our redistribution has saved our partners £5million in average retail value, with over 50,000 people benefitting from the food.”
The impact report also revealed that the redistribution of surplus food in 2020-2021 avoided 2,985 tonnes of CO2e emissions.
Julian Mines continued:
“With the emergency operations now over, we’re working hard to maintain high levels of food redistribution across the South West. We are determined to continue to be a safety net for this region. This will rely on securing more partnerships with local food businesses looking for ways to deal with their surplus that is good for both people and the planet. It will also mean further investment into our infrastructure, including new chiller vans, covering increased fuel costs and most exciting of all a new warehouse location in South Bristol.”
To read the full impact report and understand more about the work of FareShare South West across 2020-2021, please visit: https://faresharesouthwest.org.uk/our-impact-2020/
Local food businesses who want to discuss redistributing their surplus food should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.