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FareShare Southern Central marks five years’ fighting hunger and food waste

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30 April 2019

FareShare Southern Central this month marked its five-year anniversary of helping to feed people in need in the region.

“At FareShare, we know that food is an important social connector, often acting as a gateway for people in need to access other vital services – such as debt counselling or housing advice. What’s more, over three quarters of the organisations receiving food from FareShare say the diet of the people they support has improved — so we know our impact stretches far and wide.”

Claire Martin, Development Manager for Southern Central

The depot is a regional branch of FareShare UK and accesses surplus food within the supply chain and redistributes it to people in food insecurity via charities and community groups. Projects receiving food include homeless shelters, women’s refuges and school breakfast clubs, which provide nutritious meals to beneficiaries as part of their services.

FareShare Southern Central first began operating in the region in April 2014, and in that time has redistributed 2,482 tonnes of quality, surplus food to vulnerable people - enough to provide over 5.9 million meals.

Last year saw the Regional Centre have its biggest impact yet with over 22,000 people accessing hot, balanced meals across 185 FareShare-supported projects each week. And the need for FareShare’s service in the area has never been higher - currently almost a third of children in Southampton alone are growing up in poverty.

The increased impact comes as a result of a partnership with The Global Foodbanking Network and The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation as well as funding from the Morrisons Foundation - which facilitated a move to new, larger premises in 2017 and the equipment required for FareShare Southern Central to accept much larger volumes of food.

The operation relies on an army of frontline volunteers who pick and pack orders in the warehouse as well as drivers who deliver orders to organisations direct. Having grown from a small handful of volunteers when it first launched, FareShare Southern Central now sees more than 80 regular volunteers each month who work to bring FareShare’s mission of making sure no good food goes to waste closer to a reality.

Claire Martin, Development Manager for Southern Central, said: “FareShare Southern Central is now helping to feed well over 22,000 people in need each week, which is testament to the tireless dedication of our staff, volunteers and trustees.

“At FareShare, we know that food is an important social connector, often acting as a gateway for people in need to access other vital services – such as debt counselling or housing advice. What’s more, over three quarters of the organisations receiving food from FareShare say the diet of the people they support has improved – so we know our impact stretches far and wide.

“Yet currently in Hampshire alone, more than 20 percent of families are income deprived. Our team does a great job of helping those in need in our communities, but we know there is an increasing demand for more support.

“If you would like to get involved and support, either by donating or volunteering, please get in touch – just £1 enables FareShare to provide a meal for a family of four, and a few hours of your time in our warehouse can make a real difference.”

Paul Smith, General Manager South Central at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “Supporting the communities where we live and work is central to our business. With 33 branches right here in the South Central region, we are privileged to be working with FareShare during this six-year partnership and to support the incredible work being done to help vulnerable people and address food insecurity. We are thrilled to see the impact that this global initiative is having right here in Hampshire and look forward to continuing our work with FareShare on a local and national level.”

Jasmine Saunders, Community Champion for Morrisons in Totton, said: “We’re very proud to be able to support such a great community focused charity. The donation from the Morrisons Foundation enabled the new chiller and other equipment to be installed in the warehouse, which will make a long lasting impact on the charity’s activities and a big difference to so many people in the local area and beyond.”

Find out more about FareShare Southern Central.