Charity calls on food firms to hand over any surplus to help feed hungry kids this summer

July 26, 2021

Swindon’s food businesses are being urged not to bin their surplus produce but to redirect it to FareShare Southwest, the region’s largest food redistribution charity, as it gears up to prevent children going hungry during the school holidays.

The food will help the charity, whose mission is to fight hunger while tackling food waste, make a greater impact this summer. 

FareShare South West aims to supply more than 50 holiday projects across the region, in a bid to prevent children falling through the gaps and going hungry throughout the six-week school break.

While it already receives surplus food from local suppliers, including Bruton, Somerset-based cheese maker Wyke Farms, and Bristol’s wholesaling collective Essential Trading and iconic Bristol-based pie brand  Pieminister, with soaring demand the charity is keen to grow its local network further.

FareShare South West director of operations Lucy Bearn, pictured, said: “We’re asking for food businesses that have surplus food to simply get in touch and discover how easy it would be for them to redirect that surplus and make a huge difference. 

“Every year 250,000 tonnes of food which is processed, packaged and ready to eat is wasted by producers, manufacturers and retailers in the UK supply chain for reasons ranging from inaccurate demand forecasting, packaging errors, damage in transit or retailer rejections.

“FareShare South West provides a flexible and easy way of working together to ensure good quality surplus food never reaches a bin.

“We know food insecurity was a significant social issue before the pandemic, and in the wake of it, with furlough coming to a close and with the six-week summer holidays ahead for families, we’re determined to be the safety net, preventing people from falling into more complex issues relating to poverty.”

Pre-pandemic the charity supplied surplus food to more than 300 smaller charities, community centres and schools in the South West. However, when Covid hit it increased its operation six-fold, distributing enough emergency food for more than 6m meals over the past year. 

Lucy added: “Last financial year alone, the UK wide FareShare network saved 25,000 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food from waste – enough to provide 56m meals.

“But the reality is what we are saving is only a drop in the ocean. Saving just 1% more of the total good-to-eat surplus food from waste could provide enough food for 33m more meals.”

Businesses interested in helping should email or visit for more information.

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