FareShare South West are delighted to announce the opening of a Plymouth warehouse to help tackle food poverty in Devon and Cornwall.
FareShare South West is an independent charity as part of the UK’s largest food charity, FareShare, which tackles the issues of food waste and hunger. FareShare South West takes over 2,000 tonnes of quality surplus food every year that would otherwise have been wasted, and distributes it to over 400 charities, schools and community groups across the South West. The majority of food surplus occurs before food even gets to the supermarket, and FareShare is the only charity to take food from the wholesale level of the food industry.
After four years’ planning, the new Plymouth warehouse is being opened to help tackle food poverty in the area. A 2021 study prepared for Devon County Council showed that 1 in 10 Devon households experienced very low food security, with household members eating less and going hungry due to a lack of money and resources.https://www.teigncvs.org.uk/wp- content/uploads/2021/08/Devon-Food-Insecurity-Research-Final-Report.pdf] [Devon Household Food Security 2021 study
With the cost of living on the rise, this figure is likely to increase. FareShare South West hopes their Plymouth warehouse, which will have the capacity to deliver food for 1 million meals per year, will not only help stop people going hungry at this tough time, but also enable communities to be more resilient long term.
Due to the extensive network at FareShare UK, the charity can bring large quantities of surplus food to local charities that the area would not otherwise have access to, coming from over 700 food suppliers across the UK. Alongside this, they can unlock currently untapped surplus food from food companies in Devon and Cornwall, who until now had few options for their wholesale surplus.
Shelley Wright, Head of Region for Devon and Cornwall, said,“We are excited to open this Plymouth warehouse and use it to support and bolster existing food charities across the region. Over the past four years, this has been a real community effort, collaborating with local charities and food companies to unlock a new supply of affordable food.
To reach the most people possible, we need to have all parts of the operations running. So, we are looking for volunteers who would like to help in the warehouse and drive vans, as well as local food companies who would like to partner with us to reduce waste while helping the local community.”
The new warehouse is a new support for member charities, but against the dual backdrops of extreme food poverty and high levels of surplus food, we know there is more work to be done. This warehouse represents our commitment to growing our food redistribution across the Devon and Cornwall regions. Long term, we aim to work with local partner charities to extend our service further into Cornwall.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO, FareShare UK said: “We’re very proud to be supporting local communities by working alongside frontline organisations in Devon and Cornwall. The new Plymouth warehouse will allow us to create relationships with new suppliers and get good-to- eat surplus from the food industry onto people’s plates, tackling food insecurity and the unnecessary wasting of good food.”
To learn more about how to get involved, visit https://faresharesouthwest.org.uk/