60% rise in frozen surplus food going to charities, thanks to funding from WRAP and Islamic Relief

St George's Day, April 2019

30 October 2019

FareShare has seen the amount of frozen food it redistributes to frontline charities grow by 60% in just one year thanks to a new project funded through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Fund and a grant from Islamic Relief.

“Frozen food is absolutely vital for our member charities, as it means they can quickly prepare nutritious, healthy meals for the vulnerable people they support. Not only can they now accept more frozen surplus food, they can also freeze fresh food, which in the past might have been wasted.”

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO

FareShare is the UK’s largest food distribution charity. It takes surplus food from the food industry and redistributes it to frontline charities feeding vulnerable people across the country, including breakfast clubs, refuges and homeless hostels.

The programme consisted of a year-long trial in two of FareShare’s Regional Centres: Thames Valley in Didcot and Southern Central in Southampton. The funding enabled FareShare to supply 113 charities across both regions with chest freezers, chill boxes and thermometers, and for Thames Valley to buy a new walk in freezer.

This project also meant FareShare could trial new ways to get more surplus food out to charities, such as blast freezing fresh food to extend its life. FareShare also carried out research with both the charities they supply and the food industry to help them redistribute frozen food to charities more effectively.

As a result of the funding, FareShare increased the amount of surplus frozen food delivered to charities from 180 tonnes to over 280 tonnes -- the equivalent of more than 660,000 meals.

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO, said, “Frozen food is absolutely vital for our member charities, as it means they can quickly prepare nutritious, healthy meals for the vulnerable people they support. Not only can they now accept more frozen surplus food they can also freeze fresh food, which in the past might have been wasted.”

Frozen food company COOK work with FareShare to redistribute their surplus ingredients to charities. As part of the project they trialed blast-freezing surplus chicken, which was then safely redistributed to the charities FareShare supplies. Andy Stephens, Head of Sustainable Food, COOK, said: “Working with FareShare has helped COOK take a significant step forward on our journey to reducing food waste. Having such a good partner to help with the redistribution of food that would otherwise have been wasted has helped us in our work to proactively reduce waste in our cooking process and also provided a solution when reacting to unexpected challenges. All this whilst also supporting great charities and organisations who use food to care for and connect their communities.”