FareShare Northern Ireland redistributes 160,000 meals

Quaker Cottage service users enjoy lunch for St Patrick's Day

19 March 2018

To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, we are highlighting our regional centre in Belfast, FareShare Northern Ireland.

Together with their team of volunteers, FareShare Northern Ireland redistribute good quality surplus food to more than 80 charities and community groups, feeding 11,000 people a week through lunch clubs, family centres, after school clubs, and breakfast clubs for children.

One such group benefiting from FareShare food is Quaker Cottage, a charity helping local families facing challenges in their everyday lives such as domestic violence or mental health conditions, like anxiety, stress and depression, which can make doing everyday tasks difficult.

The difference FareShare makes

Cooking with food from FareShare adds another element to what Quaker Cottage can offer. As well as making sure families are eating a daily nutritious meal, the unexpected nature of surplus food means that it has introduced many of the families to new types of food.

“FareShare introduces our families to food that they haven’t tried before, such as brie and different fruits. The nice pies and cakes are treats for people but it’s the basics that really make the difference as they keep people going."

Grant McCullough, Project Manager at Quaker Cottage

FareShare food saves Quaker Cottage vital funds and means that they can always support families with food when they need it most.

Grant says “We’ve been receiving food from FareShare for at least three years. Without FareShare we’d have to do without the fancier goods and find more money. About 50-60% of the food we use is from FareShare. It saves us between £80-130 a week, a considerable part of our budget. Without it we wouldn’t be able to provide for our families directly when they are in crisis.”

News in numbers

So far in 2018, FareShare Northern Ireland redistributed 66.3 tonnes of food – that’s enough for 160,000 meals – including:

15.7 tonnes of fruit and veg, that’s over 37,000 in meals

9.4 tonnes of meat and fish, that’s over 22,000 in meals

7.83 tonnes of dairy, that’s over 18,000 in meals

How you can help

Volunteers are key to FareShare Northern Ireland's success and new people are always welcome. If you would like to volunteer to help alleviate food poverty and food waste in the region please register your interest by filling out this form. Become a Food Hero today!

You could also spread the word on Facebook and Twitter to encourage even more charities and community groups to sign up to become a food member, or sign up yourself here.