Defra announced a £16m emergency for the charity sector, with £10.5m going to FareShare. This enabled the charity to ‘step up’ its operation and purchase non-perishable foods such as tins, pasta and rice at a reduced price from retailers.
Each partner played their role in helping to get the extra food to the frontline. Asda donated warehouse space in Lutterworth, XPO Logistics deployed staff to manage the warehouse operation and Sainsburys funded logistics to transport the food to FareShare’s network of regional centres across the UK.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “The support of Asda, Sainsbury’s XPO Logistics and Defra at such a critical time has been crucial in enabling FareShare to quickly respond to the crisis and more than triple the amount of food delivered to frontline charities and community groups nationwide.
“All partners have made a phenomenal effort to help get good food to those in need and it is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when the commercial and voluntary sectors work together.
“Unfortunately, as we now navigate a second peak and a recession, we are bracing ourselves for unprecedented demand this Christmas. We will continue to work tirelessly to get vital food supplies into communities but in order to sustain food volumes, we encourage any businesses with surplus food to get in touch with FareShare to ensure it gets to those who need it most.”
FareShare divert surplus food to 11,000 frontline charities helping vulnerable people in community centres, homeless shelters and food banks.
As well as the warehouse space, Asda donated £5m split between FareShare and the Trussel Trust to fight hunger and tackle poverty.
Food Minister Victoria Prentis, added: “The extraordinary circumstances of this pandemic saw an unprecedented response from FareShare and other charities, supermarkets and organisations to support our most vulnerable neighbours.
“Their tireless work, supported by £16m emergency government funding, has been a key part of our pledge to protect the most vulnerable in our fight against the virus with 16 million meals reaching hundreds of thousands of families.”