Free food does exist…
We all remember back in 2020 when people were talking about Marcus Rashford and the incredible work he does to support people who grow up like he did. Setting up his own charity End Child Food Poverty .
He also became ambassador for Fareshare, he hand delivering food packages and getting them huge publicity for their amazing work, so much so that during the crisis FareShare redistributed 132 million meals — 4 meals every second. Thus highlighting not only a huge issue in food poverty, but also a market for people wanting to fight food waste.
Who are Fareshare?
FareShare is a national UK network of charitable food redistributors, formed from 18 independent organisations. Their mission is to acquire surplus food from companies and services across the food industry and redistribute it to nearly 9,500 community groups and frontline charities across the UK. That means school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters and community cafes benefit from the supply of food creating almost a million meals for the vulnerable.
FareShare play an important part in saving good food from going to waste, which has been a well-documented problem in this country for decades.
How to Get the Food
Fareshare have two ways of getting food: one is a paid-for service with a FareShare Community Food Membership; the other is to chance to collect free surplus food from your local supermarket through FareShare Go. Once you’ve outlined your needs to FareShare, they will contact you to discuss how to proceed.
Support For Individuals:
While Fareshare doesn’t deliver to individuals, it delivers to lots of companies that do. On the website they have a full range here.
Some highlights are…
The Trussell Trust operate the largest network of foodbanks across the UK. You can search for your nearest food bank via their interactive map.
Note: some Trussell Trust foodbanks have closed in response to COVID-19. Contact your nearest Trussell Trust center for details.
Independent Food Aid Network
IFAN are the UK network for independent food aid providers. They support and connect a range of independent frontline food aid organisations while advocating on their behalf at a national level.
They have mapped 834 independent foodbanks. Please visit their website for more information.
End Child Food Poverty
The End Child Food Poverty website, spearheaded by Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty Taskforce, has a map which lists emergency food support in comunities across the UK. Find a project local to you by visiting the site here.
Feeding Britain are running a network of emergency food programmes across the UK to protect children and their families from hunger. Hot meals and food packages are being made available, through a combination of home deliveries and collection points in the communities in which we operate, to ensure families on low incomes can put breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table each day. You can find out more via their website.
Olio Food Sharing App
OLIO is a free app allowing neighbours to offer perfectly good, unwanted food to each other. Everything shared on OLIO is for free. They have also developed safe sharing ‘no-contact pickups’ in response to COVID-19.
COMMUNITY FOOD MEMBERSHIP
When you join the FareShare Community Food scheme, a Regional Centre nearest to you will work with your needs and how to provide your food. There is a nominal fee to pay that covers their operational costs, and the food you receive will be surplus to supermarket shelves, therefore unused, and may come from a grower, a manufacturer or a retailer’s distribution centre.
Benefits of this scheme include:
A choice of the quantity and type of food you get
Regular food supplies
Food safety guidelines
Further opportunities such as volunteering
FareShare Go gives charities and community groups direct access to surplus food from many local supermarkets like ASDA, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners, and from Booker, the wholesale supermarket.
The food may have slightly damaged packaging or limited shelf life but the standard and safety of the food is not affected: this is good quality, wholesome food and includes bread, eggs and fresh fruit, always within the sell-by date.
Benefits of this scheme include:
Regular access to supermarket surplus food items
Zero cost for your organisation
A relationship with your local supermarket
Organisations that can demonstrate the provision of a safe food service to their users can apply, and you’ll also have access to help making sure your organisation has these standards:
Registry with the Environmental Health Office (EHO)
The ability to safely receive, store, prepare, serve/redistribute food
IEHO Basic Food Hygiene Course Certificate (or equivalent) held by your staff
Adherence to food safety legislation and current good practice
How has Marcus Rashford Supported Fare Share
Marcus’ support of FareShare has been transformational. Since March 2020, Marcus has:
- Helped raise enough money to enable FareShare to distribute the equivalent of over 21 million meals for children and families who might not otherwise eat
- Raised awareness of child hunger in the UK, driving the issue to the top of the news agenda
- Launched and spearheaded the Child Food Poverty Taskforce, a group of more than 15 organisations that FareShare is a founding member of, which have come together to support the National Food Strategy and share real-time statistics and stories of those affected by child hunger in the UK
- Successfully influenced government policy:
- With his #MakeTheUTurn campaign, which saw the voucher scheme – a replacement for free school meals through the lockdown – extended over the summer, ensuring 1.3 million vulnerable children could continue to access food
- In November, after campaigning by the Child Food Poverty Taskforce, Government announced a Winter Package to support the UK’s most vulnerable children through the winter until Easter 2021.
HOW TO HELP
1 in 8 people in the UK regularly go hungry, yet thousands of tons of food is wasted every year: a rather shocking fact! FareShare are helping increase the amount of food delivered to charities feeding vulnerable people, and there are ways you can help. See FareShare’s guide for more information here.