Knowledge Quarter partner, NCUB, looks at the award winning UK charity FareShare as a successful example of business model. Fareshare fights hunger and food waste, rescues good food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to people who need it, benefiting vulnerable people, helping the UK food economy and protecting the planet.
Set up in 1994, Fareshare now work with more than 100 food suppliers and manufacturers to redirect good food from waste to charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people. Last year, through our 20 Regional Centres across the country, FareShare redistributed good quality surplus food to over 1,923 charities and community projects – that’s enough food for 15.3 million meals.
But the need for FareShare is bigger than ever – 5.8 million people in the UK live in ‘deep poverty’ making it hard for them to afford everyday essentials, including food. At the same time, 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food and drink industry every year.
FareShare estimates that up to 400,000 tonnes of this is surplus and fit for human consumption, enough food for 800 million meals. They currently handle around 2% of the surplus food available in the UK – but they’re aiming to increase this to 25%.
FareShare relies on the energy and dedication of a huge army of volunteers of packers, sorters and drivers. They provide structured training for those who are out of work, helping to start the transition from long–term unemployment to a more positive future.
It’s about more than meals. The organisations we supply food to – from breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children, to homeless hostels, community cafes and domestic violence refuges – provide life changing support, as well as lunch and dinner.
By receiving food from FareShare these organisations are able to save on average £13,000 each year, which can be reinvested in essential programmes to help the beneficiaries – such as housing, educational programmes, essential equipment, counselling and life skills training to help people back on their feet.
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