Redistribution serves up 18 million meals

A total of 9,072 tonnes of “waste” food was redistributed by Fareshare in 2015/16, 25% more than the previous year. It was enough to provide the equivalent of 18.3 million meals to people in need, but represents only 2% of what is possible the charity said.

FareShare works with retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and The Co-operative, as well as manufacturers such as Kellogg’s and Nestlé, to identify and redistribute in-date, good to eat food that has become surplus because of forecasting errors, mislabelling or damaged packaging.

With support from these “switched-on food companies”, FareShare diverted more food from waste and supported more frontline charities than ever before, said CEO Lindsay Boswell. The value of the food that FareShare redistributes to the charity sector has been estimated at £19.6m a year.

But there’s so much more to do. Boswell explained: “We’re only accessing the tip of a food waste iceberg. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible food gets thrown away, or used to generate energy or animal feed, every year – enough to provide 800 million meals for people in need.”

Last year, the number of charities and community groups FareShare redistributed food to increased by 29% to 2,489. These organisations include homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs and domestic violence refuges.

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