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10 April 2024

Support for Businesses to Donate Surplus Food


In a world of uncertainty due to the rising cost of living, a little help goes a long way. Already working tirelessly to tackle food waste and hunger, charities across the country are helping vulnerable people get what they need. However, a Cardiff-based charity is finding that it cannot meet the current demand for surplus food.

FareShare Cymru, which was established in 2010 is part of the wider FareShare network of 25 Regional Centres across the UK. The charity takes surplus food from the food industry and redistributes it to Community Food Members (CFMs), including homeless hostels, community centres, refugee centres and school breakfast clubs.

Once at its destination the food is either repurposed into healthy balanced meals or redistributed through community food hubs and affordable box schemes to support vulnerable members of the community.

With a team of 80 volunteers sorting food orders and making deliveries covering south Wales, including Carmarthenshire, while also working in partnership with FareShare Merseyside to support charities in North Wales, the charity redistributes surplus food to 239 charities across Wales.

Since April 2023, FareShare has redistributed 848.2 tonnes of food to people in need – the equivalent of 1,581,470 meals. However, the demand for the service has increased this year, with 176 charities currently on the waiting list.

As it stands, FareShare Cymru needs an additional 60 tonnes a month to meet the demand of its current charities, therefore, with Welsh Government funding support, it has made the process easier and cost-neutral for food manufacturers to donate food by introducing the Surplus with Purpose fund.

Eligible food businesses can now donate surplus food to FareShare Cymru by using the fund, covering the costs of packaging, labour, shipping, and any other costs incurred in the process.

While food businesses are increasingly appreciating how surplus food can have a positive impact on business, people and the planet, there are large manufacturers in Wales already using the fund.

Puffin Produce, based in Pembrokeshire, has been donating its surplus food to FareShare Cymru since 2020. During a 12 month period, Puffin has donated 9.19 tonnes of surplus food, equating to around 21,800 meals.

The Surplus with Purpose Cymru fund has allowed Puffin to donate over 30,000 kg of surplus cauliflower without incurring any additional costs.

Another business using the fund is Peter’s Food Services. Since April 2003, the business has donated over 12 tonnes of food, serving 160 charities across Wales, 18,000 individual beneficiaries, and has supplied enough food to produce 29,000 meals.

While the Bedwas based manufacturer of pies and pastries, sausages and saveloys has cut costs using the Surplus with Purpose fund, it has also saved 37 tonnes of CO2.

FareShare Cymru has formed strong partnerships with CFMs across Wales, dedicated to delivering good food to those who need it most. While community groups distribute and repurpose the food, host breakfast clubs, luncheons and other social events, the food brings individuals together and promotes well-being.

Established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and based in Llanyrafon Methodist Church, Cwmbran, the ‘Tasty not Wasty’ community group became official in the September of that year.

The project prepares and serves meals using surplus produce supplied by FareShare Cymru. Readymade meals are also frozen to extend expiry dates and distributed to a diverse sector of the community.

Social justice charity Foothold Cymru empowers communities and individuals to achieve real change. Established in 1991, the not for profit organisation designs services with communities, and has helped over 250,000 people.

With a commitment to help communities thrive, the Llanelli-based charity ensures that those most affected are actively participating in creating sustainable change.

FareShare Cymru plays an integral role in facilitating the link between food producers and surplus food beneficiaries, and through the Surplus with Purpose fund it hopes to get more food businesses on board to in its plight to help reduce food waste and tackle poverty.

For more information visit Working together to reduce food waste – Food & Drink Wales (food-drink.wales)

 



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