Hampshire County Council invests £200,000 to join FareShare in tackling food poverty

18 November 2015

Cooking with FareShare surplus food at Pepper Pot older people's lunch club

18 November 2015

Volunteer community groups which help individuals and families experiencing hardship are being invited to participate in a scheme aimed at tackling food poverty, thanks to a two year investment of £200,000 from Hampshire County Council to launch FareShare in Hampshire.

As part of the County Council’s Local Welfare Assistance Strategy, the Council has partnered with anti-poverty charity SCRATCH (Southampton City and Region Action to Combat Hardship) to set up new collection points for FareShare. SCRATCH manages the FareShare Southern Central regional centre.

Community groups and charities that operate lunch clubs for older people or provide meals to the homeless and low income families will be able to get a wide range of fresh produce for a monthly membership fee.

This initiative will strengthen the local offer of support to residents facing hardship. By closely aligning providers of furniture reuse as key distribution points for FareShare, it is hoped that groups and charities working with vulnerable residents will be able to support them better to overcome crisis with dignity and independence, by helping them to understand the support that is already available to them.

Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, commented: “I am very excited about this initiative. Food poverty is one of three identified main areas of crisis, along with fuel and furniture poverty. It seems such an obvious idea to put to good use food that would otherwise be wasted. It is also an environmentally friendly solution, making a contribution towards reducing the amount of waste that needs disposing of. With our partners – SCRATCH – we are aiming to set up six distribution points across the county, where community groups will be able to collect FareShare food boxes and cook nutritious meals for a fraction of the usual purchase price.”

Matthew Wilkinson, Operations Manager at FareShare, said: “We are delighted that the County Council is making this investment. It will mean that organisations we support, such as breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for older people, women’s refuges and hostels, that provide life changing support as well as a hot meal, will make savings on their food spend and help the environment too.”

For more information on becoming a Community Food Member, interested groups should email fareshare@scratchcharity.co.uk