FareShare Leicester helps to feed about 2000 of the most seriously disadvantaged people in Leicestershire, using surplus food from the food industry.
· 4 million people in the UK cannot afford a healthy diet.
· Failed asylum seekers and homeless people in the city desperately needed food.
· The cost of a basket of staple food items is going up all the time and outpacing increases in income.
· One third of all waste going to landfill is from the food sector (approx.17m tonnes p.a.)
The challenge was how to become a delivery partner of FareShare without the funds for staff or premises (http://www.fareshare.org.uk/). FareShare takes good quality surplus food from the food industry that is used for those in need, rather than being sent to landfill. All food is within its use-by date and complies with strict hygiene legislation. FareShare has depots all over the country, all of which depend on volunteers to deliver their service.
After a period as a pilot project, FareShare Leicester began on 1st July 2008.
Food is distributed (free of charge) to charitable support groups that meet the FareShare criteria, regardless of religious or other affiliation, weekly on Mondays to 18 groups, with more on the waiting list. In the last year, FareShare Leicester has distributed almost 100 tonnes of good quality food (equivalent to 235,000 meals), to help feed people who are:
- on low or no wages, especially where children or young people are at risk;
- asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers, refugees;
- homeless, or vulnerably housed;
- vulnerable elderly;
- at risk due to mental health problems, learning difficulties, or HIV/AIDS;
- women and children affected by domestic violence.
FareShare Leicester has received two CUF grants, one national and one local, totalling £7,500 to support the work.
Bishop Tim, the Bishop of Leicester said, “The gap between the rich and the poor in the UK is now wider than in most western countries in the world except the USA. As the poorest families in deprived areas of our city and county struggle to cope with the rise in the cost of living, FareShare Leicester offers vulnerable people practical support and hope”.