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30 October 2018
Two regional food charities have relocated to new, larger premises which will enable them help feed an additional 3,200 people in need each week.
Thanks to landmark funding from Asda and support from Leeds City Council, FareShare Yorkshire and Leeds South & East Foodbank have opened a new warehouse in Parkside Industrial Estate which is almost twice the size of their previous premises.
FareShare Yorkshire is one of the largest regional branches of FareShare UK, and provides quality, surplus food to almost 200 frontline community groups and charities across the county – including homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, rehabilitation centres and elderly lunch clubs.
The new 5,279 sq ft premises will afford FareShare Yorkshire the capacity to recruit over 27 new local charities in the next year. This will in turn help to feed a further 2,889 vulnerable people across the region each week, increasing the number of beneficiaries by an astonishing 18 percent within the first year of the warehouse opening.
Similarly, Leeds South & East Foodbank, which is part of The Trussell Trust foodbank network and a partner of FareShare Yorkshire, anticipates it will increase its number of beneficiaries by 45 percent within the next year.
The dramatic growth and warehouse relocation has been made possible thanks to the continued support from Leeds City Council – as well as investment from Asda as part of its Fight Hunger Create Change programme.
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.
Gareth Batty, Chief Executive of FareShare Yorkshire, said:
“FareShare Yorkshire currently helps to feed around 16,000 vulnerable people by saving almost 13 tonnes of food from waste each week – astonishing figures which are testament to our tireless commitment to fighting hunger and reducing food waste."
“We do a great job of helping those experiencing food insecurity in our communities but we know there is a demand for more support, which is why we are grateful to Asda for its incredible generosity and the support of our partners in the city. The funding will vastly increase our impact, enabling us to provide meals to thousands more at risk of hunger each week – a service we know is vitally needed and valued in the region.”
John Casey, Chair of Leeds South & East Foodbank, said: “We have barely been able to keep pace with the increase in the take-up at foodbanks in the south and east of Leeds. At our busiest outlets we see up to 30 clients in two hours – equivalent to over half a tonne of food provided in one session.
“On our evidence, poverty in the city is getting worse. The trend since we opened in 2013 has been constantly upwards but has ramped up in the last 18 months, especially during the school holidays. For many it is a choice between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.
“Asda’s welcome investment and the partnership with FareShare promises to provide a lifeline for many hundreds of people who are forced to rely on foodbanks.”
Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda, said: “We have a responsibility to all the communities we operate in across the UK, but this is especially true in our home city of Leeds. Our investment will help make fresh food the norm in Leeds foodbanks, rather than the exception, and mean FareShare and the Trussell Trust can feed an additional 3,200 vulnerable people in our city with good, fresh food each week.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said: “It’s fantastic to see two regional food charities expanding into larger premises and subsequently helping to feed an additional 3,200 people in need each week.
“The work that FareShare Yorkshire and Leeds South & East Foodbank do is fundamental to tackling food poverty. These charities provide vital help to families and individuals when they need it the most and are incredibly valued in our city.”
For further information or to find out how your charity or community group can receive surplus food from FareShare Yorkshire, click here.
To sign up to volunteer at FareShare Yorkshire and other locations in the UK, click here.