FareShare Southern Central, operated by anti poverty charity SCRATCH rescues surplus food which is destine to waste and redistribute it to charities and community groups who turn it into delicious meals for vulnerable people. We tackle two problems of our time; food waste and food poverty.
Since launching in April 2014 we have distributed over 400 tonnes of food, much of which would have ended up in landfill. Every month we deliver 40 tonnes of food and help to feed 8,000 individuals. To date we have provided 995,000 meals to vulnerable people living in Hampshire and Dorset.
About the project
Working closely with the food and drink industry we rescue surplus food, much of which we receive direct from distribution warehouses, this food hasn’t even seen a supermarket shelf and has been deemed as excess/surplus/waste stock early in the supply chain. The reason for this surplus is over production, human error with ordering, spelling mistakes on the package, food that is close to its sell by date or food that hasn’t passed quality control though is perfectly safe to eat. As consumers we demand every type of food and even a change in the weather can create waste in the food chain.
We currently support 102 charities and community groups in Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. These include food banks, school breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for older people, hostels, soup kitchens, community cafes, children centres, hospices, women refuges and projects supporting vulnerable young people and those living with addictions, mental health, learning disabilities and AIDS/HIV.
With some 3.9 million tonnes of food waste in the UK we know the food is out there and we are very fortunate that our work has the support of major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA and food manufacturers such as Gerber Fresco, General Mills, Nestle and Kelloggs.
Our work is only possible thanks to the dedication of an army of 75 volunteers who help us sort, pick, pack and deliver food to our partner charities and community groups. Some of our volunteers have complex needs and chaotic lives, some are on the road to recovery due to addictions, some have experienced homelessness and many have lived with food poverty. By providing volunteers with training, work experience and giving them their self esteem many are able to use this experience as a stepping stone into employment. This year ten volunteers have been helped into work.
The challenge for us is that demand for our service continues to grow and there is no shortage of surplus food but we are running out of space to store chilled produce. We are seeking funding to buy a second hand refrigerated shipping container which will be used to store food orders prior to them being delivered to charities and community groups. It will mean we will be able to accept more food and support more charities and community groups doing vital work feeding those in need.
By supporting our project you will be ensuring that no good food goes to waste and is given to vulnerable people in our community.