17 July 2017
Just two years after its launch, FareShare FoodCloud, a ground-breaking initiative which enables charities and community groups to pick up free surplus food from their local Tesco, has now signed up over 5,000 charities and provided 10 million meals to people in need.
To celebrate this amazing milestone, we catch up with one of the first groups to ever use the scheme who are also marking their own milestone.
Adelaide House in Liverpool supports women who have been in prison to move on with their lives. Residents often have a range of difficulties such as drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, mental health issues and homelessness. The women's only premises is just one of six approved assisted housing facilities of its kind in the UK.
Pat Thomas, CEO, says: “We are an all-female staff group providing a holistic service, targeted to the needs of the resident group. Liverpool Church of England Council for Social Aid - Adelaide House has worked with vulnerable women and women with complex needs in the city since the 1800’s.”
With 20 residents to feed throughout the day, and up to 10 women dropping in weekly, it’s no wonder Adelaide House in Liverpool has been using surplus food from FareShare for five years. More recently though, the team have been using the FareShare FoodCloud scheme to top-up their deliveries. Every week they collect surplus food from their local Tesco such as fresh vegetables, porridge, muesli, bread and eggs.
Pat Thomas CEO says: “As one of the first ever groups to use FareShare FoodCloud, I am so proud to be part of something so big and successful. It has made such a difference to breakfast and lunchtimes. Our ladies always know that they have cereal and toast to wake up to in the morning which they look forward to, and sets them up for the rest of the day. I can’t thank Tesco and FareShare enough.”
A lot of the women at Adelaide House arrive underweight and undernourished due to neglect, homelessness and mental health issues. The free surplus food from FareShare FoodCloud is good quality, healthy and nutritious and it makes a real difference.
Pat adds, “The food we receive from FareShare FoodCloud has a huge impact on our ladies as they gain a healthier weight. We receive bread for lunch to make sandwiches, and rolls to go with the soup. Not only that, but the food brings them closer together as eating at the same time makes them feel a sense of belonging and family which some of them have never experienced.”
“And it doesn’t stop there. Food from FareShare FoodCloud saves us money, which means we can put that money towards our other services, for examples courses on living on a budget, healthy living and exercise, and getting into education, training and employment. This means that they women will have lots of skills they can use after they leave us.”
One resident regularly makes breakfast as a treat for herself, the staff and other residents using the eggs, sausages and bread provided by Tesco. After adding vine tomatoes, mushrooms, ham and asparagus she describes it as 'Cordon Bleu Standard‘.
Another resident has taken her cooking skills one step further and is now teaching other residents how to impress in the kitchen. She says:
"Since living at Adelaide House I have started a college catering course to learn all aspects of food and the art of cooking. Thanks to Adelaide House and the partnership with Tesco and FareShare I get to use the raw ingredients. I am in my ‘element’ trying different cooking methods and preparing meals for both myself and other women living here at Adelaide House. The scheme is such a great idea.”
If you are a charity or community group that could benefit from the support of free surplus food, visit www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud to register.