A million meals & a million stories in Lancashire & Cumbria

Astley-Lodge- woman holding bread

11 August 2017

Well done to our team at FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria for reaching a massive milestone – redistributing enough surplus food for one million meals to charities and community groups in the North West.

The Regional Centre, which is operated by Recycling Lives, opened in October 2015. Since then the team have saved a massive 430 tonnes of good food from going to waste and instead redistributed it to charities supporting vulnerable people in the area. They now support 100 charities with food, delivering 13,000 meals and feeding around 5,000 people every week.

More than meals

It's about more than meals though. Each of the organisations the team delivers food to provide support services as well as lunch and dinner, helping people to get back on their feet or improve their wellbeing. Here are some the stories behind those meals.

Astley Lodge

At Astley Lodge in Chorley, staff have used surplus food from FareShare as a tool for learning. Residents, who would otherwise be homeless, have undertaken courses in food hygiene and safety to boost their skills and self-confidence. Jill Charnock, senior service manager at Astley Lodge, said: “The benefits go far beyond the food…it creates social and learning opportunities.”

St Catherine's Hospice

At St Catherine’s Hospice, in Lostock Hall, surplus food from FareShare means patients can have a variety of ingredients and meals to choose from, to help them with certain conditions or symptoms. Nicola Hamner, catering manager at the hospice, said: “The food helps us to meet individual diet preferences – helping to improve patients’ quality of life.” The food helps towards the hospice providing four-meals-a-day to its in-patients and lunches for patients of its day therapy unit.

Staff at St Catherine's Hospice with surplus food delivered to them by FareShare

Lancaster Community Club

Lancaster Community Club bosses say that they are proud to be able to not only tackle food poverty but also be reducing food waste, by using surplus food from FareShare. Volunteer leader Deborah Finn said: “Everyone marvels at the types and quality of food that was going to end up as waste.” It supports families facing food poverty through a co-operative model and “simply wouldn’t exist” without FareShare its leaders say.

Volunteers from Lancaster Community Club collecting surplus food at FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria

Read more about FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria