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

Decade-long partnership sees FareShare North East grow and launch as independent charity

10 July 2020

After 11 years of working together, this month sees FareShare UK’s partnership with Changing Lives come to an end as the North East Regional Centre launches as an independent charity.

“FareShare North East now reaches more than 200 charitable projects every week, redistributing over 150 tonnes of food every month with the support of more than 120 volunteers. We couldn't have reached this point without the continued support through being part of Changing Lives over the years.”

Jake Hanmore, FareShare North East General Manager

The partnership between Changing Lives and FareShare has seen the Newcastle warehouse grow over more than a decade, from a small project distributing a few food items a week to supplying enough food to make 1.5 million meals last year alone. The Fareshare North East Regional Centre now serves 235 community groups and charities across the region – including homeless shelters, school breakfast clubs, community centres and foodbanks - each week.

Changing Lives, which works with people facing some of the toughest challenges in life – including homelessness, substance misuse, abuse, exploitation and extreme poverty - started the project back in 2009 with the aim of providing nutritious surplus food to people who needed it. They then became part of the FareShare network of food redistribution organisations, all working to divert food that would otherwise go to landfill, animal feed or anaerobic digestion and to vulnerable people, via local charities and community groups.

Jake Hanmore, Manager of FareShare North East, said: “FareShare North East now reaches more than 200 charitable projects every week, redistributing over 150 tonnes of food every month with the support of more than 120 volunteers. We couldn't have reached this point without the continued support through being part of Changing Lives over the years.

“We look forward to working with Changing Lives through combined efforts on employability programmes and through our regular weekly deliveries to 12 different Changing Lives projects every week. This is the next step on an exciting journey that will enable FareShare North East to continue to reduce even more food waste and support greater numbers of community groups across the North East more than ever before.”

Danny Connolly, who managed the project for Changing Lives when it was first launched, said: “When we first started out we were nowhere near the scale that FareShare North East operates today. It’s amazing to see now how far we've come in just over a decade. FareShare has grown to become a huge support for many people across the North East, delivering a wide variety of food and fresh ingredients every week.”

Val Bell, Head of Employment & Enterprise at Changing Lives said: "We are so proud of everything Fareshare North East has achieved in our 11-years of partnership.

“Its achievements have been even more evident over the last few months during the coronavirus crisis. Fareshare North East has made outstanding efforts to support those who are vulnerable within our communities, doubling the amount of food delivered during the lockdown and helping to fight food poverty. We know that they will go from strength to strength as an independent social enterprise and we wish them the best of luck for the next stage of their journey.”

The two charities will continue to work together closely as FareShare North East will continue to provide food deliveries to 12 of Changing Lives’ residential projects.