Ministry of Defence donates 14,000 meals to UK charities

24 December 2019

The Ministry of Defence has donated thousands of unused ration packs – the equivalent of over 14,000 meals – to FareShare, a charity that distributes food to over 11,000 UK charities, including community groups, homeless hostels and lunch groups for older people.

“FareShare does an excellent job of getting proper nutrition to those who need it most, distributing food to thousands of charities around the country. I am proud that our ration pack donation supports their goals whilst reducing unnecessary food waste.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer

Nine pallets of 10-man Operational Ration Packs (ORP) were delivered to the FareShare headquarters in Deptford just before Christmas, where they were sorted and delivered to charities in need of food donations over the festive period.

The donation is part of the MOD’s commitment to reducing waste when ration packs reach the end of their useable life.

The MOD has partnered with FareShare for nearly one year because of the work they do to redistribute surplus food to charities that turn it into meals, often for vulnerable people. FareShare distributes food to over 11,000 UK charities, including community groups, homeless hostels and lunch groups for the elderly.

“We’re delighted to have partnered with MOD to help them get their surplus food and get it to good causes. The ration packs we received last week will be sent to charities across London.

“Because these packs don’t need refrigeration they are ideal for winter night shelters where volunteers need to make food quickly, or to offer out to families in temporary accommodation who might only have access to a kettle or a hob at Christmas time.”

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell

Operational Ration Packs offer a flexible range of food to meet the needs of servicemen and women. The donated packs are used for group meals, usually by military chefs in field kitchens, and include enough to feed ten soldiers for a 24-hour period. The packs include ingredients that enable the preparation of nutritionally balanced meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, such as porridge, sausages, baked beans, pasta and rice, and provide an average of 4000 calories.

“A little under a year ago we announced that we would support the important work of FareShare by providing unused surplus rations that MOD would be unable to consume and would otherwise become waste.

“It is the right thing to do and especially gratifying to have provided a little more support to those most in need.”

DE&S Director Logistic delivery Roger West

Around 2 million ration packs are used by the military every year, with less than 1% of the MOD’s stock requiring disposal. This scheme means that there is an opportunity to gift to those in need and ensure that any good food does not go to waste.

*Image courtesy of Sgt Peter Devine  © Crown copyright 2019