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New warehouse in East Midlands opens thanks to Asda funding

3 October 2018

FareShare East Midlands’ new Asda-funded warehouse opens in Leicester

Around 60 guests marked the 10-year anniversary of FareShare East Midlands at the Regional Centre’s South Wigston warehouse opening.

The new 6,600 sq ft warehouse has been funded by Asda through the Fight Hunger Create Change programme and affords FareShare East Midlands the capacity to provide a staggering 523,000 additional meals to vulnerable people each year. More than 60 new local charities and community groups will be able to register to receive food from FareShare over the next year, enabling the Regional Centre to feed a further 6,500 vulnerable people each week – an overall beneficiary increase of 35 percent.

The charity is one of the largest regional branches of FareShare UK and provides quality, surplus food to over 250 frontline community groups and charities across the East Midlands – including homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, women’s refuges and elderly lunch clubs.

Alongside the new warehouse, Asda’s funding has also enabled FareShare East Midlands to purchase and install new chillers with three times more capacity - allowing food to be stored for longer to increase efficiency and feed more people - as well as a new van.

Simone Connolly, Director at FareShare East Midlands, said:
“In Leicester alone, one in four residents live in areas of high deprivation, some among the 10% most deprived in England. Our team does a great job of helping these communities, but we know there is a great demand for more support - which is why we are so grateful to Asda for their incredible generosity that will enable us to better support those in need than ever before."

“At FareShare, we know that food is an important social connector, often acting as a catalyst for frontline charities to enact change. Through the surplus food we provide to 250 local charities and community groups, vulnerable people not only get a nutritious meal but also access vital wider support and services – whether that be debt or housing advice, or even just making friends. So we know the impact of Asda’s generous funding will stretch far and wide.”

Since first opening in 2008, the charity has provided an estimated 8.7 million meals to those in food poverty. Among those celebrating the achievement were Deputy City Mayor Councillor Sarah Russell, FareShare East Midlands patron Rosemary Conley CBE, Asda Chief Customer Officer Andy Murray, and representatives from local charities receiving surplus food from FareShare – including Kevin Sheriff of Highfields Adventure Playground, which helped to feed up to 800 children each day across nine adventure playgrounds over the school summer holiday.

Kevin said: “On the first day and every day of the six week holiday, a FareShare van delivered around 1,000 packed lunches which were distributed amongst the playgrounds. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the team for making the scheme such a success. In total, we believe there must have been around 25,000 pack lunches during this period. An incredible feat by FareShare East Midlands for which we are very grateful.

“Although there shouldn’t be such a need to provide food for people in 2018, we should celebrate organisations such as FareShare which not only recognise the need but are in fact doing something about it. This new and bigger facility is testament to that work and we wish the charity all the best in its endeavor.”

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The Fight Hunger Create Change programme is a partnership between Asda, FareShare and food poverty charity The Trussell Trust which aims to lift one million people out of food poverty across the UK. Over the course of three years, Asda will invest £20 million to enable both charities to invest in their infrastructure to offer more fresh food and crucial support and advice to people in need.

Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda, said: “We’re really excited that our landmark Fight Hunger Create Change programme is enabling FareShare to massively scale up its operations in the East Midlands. The new warehouse will help thousands more people a year and have an incredible impact on local communities across the region.”

For further information and to find out more about FareShare East Midlands, visit fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-centres/east-midlands/

To sign up to volunteer in East Midlands and other locations in the UK, go to fareshare.org.uk/volunteer