Exeter Food Action (formerly DCFA Exeter) has been in operation for four years as a Food Redistribution project. We take food that supermarkets, wholeslaers and manufacturers are throwing away, and we redistribute it instead. In 2014, we saved over 25 tonnes of food, and saved the groups we gave it to over £86,000. The groups we share it with include soup kitchens, hostels, schools, community cafes and hospices. Anyone can access our food as long as they are local to us, and do not make a profit from the sale of the food.
The food is being disposed of because it is considered excess for a number of reasons – it may have a short date left on it, be in damaged packaging, or might simply be surplus to requirements. It is taken by us in bulk, stored in eiher dry store, fridge or freezer as appropriate and redelivered as soon as possible.
We started as a joint community project, planned by a small group in Exeter. We now employ one part time member of staff, and rent our premises from Cornerstone Housing. We have a team of over 60 volunteers who collect and deliver food. We have been working with supermarkets for some time, but have suddenly experienced an influx of new suppliers. While we acknowledge that the food supply chain has huge issues and flaws, for the foreseeable future, Exeter Food Actions endeavours to challenge how the system works, while doing our utmost to limit food waste as much as possible. With this potential funding, we would be able to purchase more fridges and freezers, secure our future until at least Summer 2017 and save and share much more food.
The rewards are based upon how we might be able to show our gratitude, rather than exciting prizes. We know that the work is valuable, and we’re very grateful for that support.