International Women’s Day: celebrating the women of FareShare

Two female volunteers in hi vis vests hold trays of surplus fruit.

8 March 2019

On International Women's Day we celebrate the achievements of key female staff helping to run the FareShare networks. Women are key figures in 10 out of 21 of the FareShare Regional Centres across the UK, managing complicated logistical operations that guarantee the success of our mission.

“I’m really proud of the fact that I helped to set up Fareshare in Cymru South Wales. That was six years ago, and we now redistribute good surplus food to 50 local charities to support them in helping feed people in need”

Sarah Germain - FareShare Cymru South Wales

To celebrate International Women's Day, we asked them about some of their proudest achievements.

Simone Connolly - FareShare East Midlands

"Every week, we get to save 25 tonnes of good quality food from being destroyed by supporting 220 community groups who then turn that food into just over 59,000 meals. The groups we support operate in some of the most deprived areas of the country where one in three children are living in poverty, and we know that the FareShare food is reaching those most in need.   But we can do so much more!"

Mandy Hawkes - FareShare West Midlands

“I’ve been overseeing changing the warehouse over to a collection model. We’ve changed from delivering all food to 70% of our charity members now collecting the food from us. We’re a smaller warehouse so this way we can get more food to more charities.”

Miranda Kaunang - FareShare Greater Manchester

“Across Greater Manchester, there are mums going without so their kids don’t go to bed hungry. And there are hundreds of women cooking for others, volunteering in foodbanks and pantry projects, helping their communities fight poverty. I am proud to be part of the FareShare team, working hard to get as much good surplus food as possible to where it’s needed most. But I hope to see the day when the injustice of hunger is a thing of the past.”

Emma Milson - FareShare Hull & Humber

“We’ve increased the amount of good quality surplus food we distribute, and the numbers of groups we support. I’m also proud of promoting the pantry model throughout Hull and the Humber; and encouraging my team/volunteers to apply for paid posts and promotions within the FareShare Hull and Humber team – to the extent that I’m the only one who didn’t start here as a volunteer or apprentice."

Rachel Ledwith - FareShare London

“A big achievement for me recently is the setting up of a Local Collection Point in New Addington. I secured funding from Croydon Council to establish it and now, just six months later the van is full and we are supplying 360kg of food each week to help their Food Stop initiative along with another 500kg to other charities.”

Méabh Austin - FareShare Northern Ireland

"I have been fortunate enough to witness FareShare NI grow from strength to strength since we opened our doors in 2010.  We are currently redistributing high quality surplus food to almost 100 local charities every week and supporting five pantry model pilots across the region.  I am most proud of having secured funding for our new and much improved Regional Centre last year and am really excited for challenges ahead."

“We recently moved our warehouse in six days, to a warehouse three times the size, seven miles away. We had to supply food to our 146 charities while workmen beavered away installing the fridges, but we had no break in service and the charities still got the food they needed to feed local vulnerable people.”

Claire Martin - FareShare Southern Central

Rachel Carless - FareShare Sussex

“What I'm most proud of this year is getting to grips with building and supporting a fantastic team, getting some important policies and procedures in place, delivering an LED project to cut our energy costs, and developing a really exciting three year business plan that will see us doubling the amount of food we provide to double the amount of charities and community groups we already deliver to.”

Gillian Kynock - FareShare Scotland

“I have been with FareShare for five years and after a fairly varied career, it’s the magical alchemy of redirecting the surpluses of the food industry into the frontline of the war against want, neglect and abandonment that so excites and rewards me. In Scotland we are feeding over 40,000 people every week. That’s some achievement but is only the beginning of what we could do.”

Supporting frontline women's charities

FareShare provides food for charities and community groups like The Marylebone Project, Tomorrow's Women Wirral and Ty Seren which support women with vital support services such as housing, personal development opportunities and a safe space.

“Cooking just gave me a whole new outlook on life and on myself. Before, I had very low self worth and self esteem. The kitchen helped me to value myself again.”

Tanya, a resident at the Marylebone Project

Read more of their stories and how food can help in our case studies about The Marylebone Project, Tomorrow's Women Wirral and Ty Seren.

How you can help

8.4 million people across the UK are struggling to put food on the table. We think that is unacceptable, especially when so much good food is going to waste. We need your help to fight hunger and food waste today. £1 is enough to help deliver food for 4 meals. It’s the generosity and commitment of supporters like you that helps bring FareShare’s mission to life.

Set up a regular or one-off donation, or send a text message to make a gift to make a difference to people’s lives today: text FARE18 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070 (e.g. FARE18 £10). It will help us deliver more food to frontline charities and community groups across the UK.