We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

Health and Safety information: Covid-19

At FareShare we take the wellbeing of our staff and volunteers very seriously.

It is important that at FareShare we endeavour to keep our staff and volunteers safe as far as is practicable, as well as making sure our food deliveries are being made safely.

These are the measures FareShare has implemented to help reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

The Food Standards Agency has updated its community cooking guidance for individuals and community groups supplying vulnerable people with food during the coronavirus pandemic: www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-safety-for-community-cooking-and-food-banks

In the warehouse

The warehouse is a busy and, in some cases crowded, environment. Although social distancing is highly encouraged, it may not be possible to carry out fully.
We have put new measures in place, and these are:

  1. Staff and volunteers must not touch each other (No shaking hands, hugging etc.)
  2. Staff and volunteers must observe a 2m (6ft) distance where possible.
  3. Staff and volunteers are advised to wear disposable gloves & masks/scarfs if available.
  4. Work should be carried out in groups. Staff and volunteers should stay in their group and not come into contact with those in another group.
  5. Breaks will be staggered, to reduce interaction between groups of staff and volunteers.
  6. Handwashing/sanitisation should be carried out frequently. Sinks and taps to be cleaned after every team break.

To keep our staff and volunteers safe and reduce transmission of any viruses we advise all our staff and volunteers to do the following:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

We also have in place:

  • Information on arrival so people understand whether they should or should not be in the building
  • Information on how to clean hands properly and when they should be cleaned
  • Suitable anti-viral soaps and hand sanitisers that kill the virus
  • Safeguards and advice on handling food safely

Collecting food from our warehouses

It’s important to ensure the virus is not transmitted into our warehouses from one of the charities collecting food from FareShare. We have implemented the following protocol:

  • E-mail dispatch note to the collecting organisation to avoid the need for document signing.
  • Have a staff member or volunteer ready to greet visitors outside.
  • Upon arrival do not let CFM/CFA staff or volunteers enter the building, instead ensure they stay with their vehicles.
  • Roll the order to within 2 meters of their vehicle and let them load.
  • Ensure that returned trays/boxes are cleaned, then wash hands immediately.

Delivering food to Charity Food Members

To reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to charities and community groups we are using ‘no contact delivery’ a similar protocol to home delivery services and postal workers.

Where possible delivery teams should be issued with hand sanitiser for use between each delivery and before/after using fuel pumps when refueling.

Staff, volunteer drivers and volunteer driver’s assistants will:

  • Upon arrival signal to staff at the charity that they have arrived. They will not enter the building
  • Unload the food at the agreed delivery door.

Staff at the Charity Food Member will then either:

  • Take trays/cold boxes in and retain till next delivery. Advise Charity Food Member that they should clean the trays/cold and store them in a safe space (not outside) Charity Food Members to have empty trays/cold boxes ready for collections and bring them to the door.
  • Or Charity Food Member can decant delivery at door so trays can be returned.

Collecting food from store via FareShare Go

Our retailers are committed to donating food, where they have it available.

If you are able to make your food collections please do so – but make sure you attend the store only once you have accepted your donation offer via App, Text or Email.

If you can’t collect, please remember to reject your offer so that your donation can be offered elsewhere. If you don’t respond, the food will go to waste
If you are closed (even temporarily) then please let us know. Lots of other organisations will be able to collect the food if you can’t collect it

Our retailers believe that no charity should have to wait in-store to receive their donations. That’s why, as long as you show them the FareShare Key Worker Letter, you will be able to skip the queue and receive your donation quicker.

Download the FareShare Key Worker Letter

With all the changes taking place as a result of the pandemic, you may be offered food that you are not approved to collect. If this does happen, please ensure you reject those items.

When making your collection, please ensure you follow the government guidance on social distancing, keeping a safe distance of two metres between you and other people.

If you are preparing food on your premises, we would encourage you to read this useful Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (link), where you will find plenty of hints and tips. Food safety is important now more than ever, so please ensure you are adhering to food safety guidelines. Do not pass on products that are past their Use By date

If you are preparing food parcels, ensure you leave the package on a door step for the recipient, knock on the door and then take at least two steps back – you can ensure they have received the parcel, but please do so safely.

If you know of any other organisations in need of food at this time, please direct them to our Getting Food (link) page where they will be matched to the best FareShare service for their needs.


Cleaning will be prioritised at all times. Where possible we will try to have a group of volunteers cleaning surfaces at all times. This will ensure the usual cleaning schedule is maintained even during this period of high demand. Ideally we will increase the number of cleaning cycles that occur. We have also implemented new protocols:

  1. Trays collected from or returned by Charity Food Members MUST be cleaned before re-use. This should involve wiping them down with disinfectant and then rinsing them.
  2. Cleaning. We will target all “touchable” services with disinfectant. This includes door handles, light switches, phones, keyboards and mouse.
  3. If using pump trucks or FLTs, only one person will be assigned to that equipment at a time, when that person goes for a break or finishes shift they must ensure they clean all touch points before the next operator.
  4. All washing up will be done to a high standard, ideally using a dishwasher.
  5. All Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will be washed as often as possible. Ideally after a volunteer has finished with them/before the next volunteer uses them.