FareShare calls for greater support as those in need increase

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

FareShare's survey revealed there was a greater need than ever before for food redistribution charities
FareShare's survey revealed there was a greater need than ever before for food redistribution charities

Related tags Supply chain Surplus food

Food surplus redistribution charity FareShare has called for more support from the food industry as it revealed demand for its services increased over the past year.

A new survey of charities and organisations it supported found that 75% of respondents said they had seen an increase in demand for their services.

It also found that nine out of ten organisations had been affected in some way by the cost of living crisis, while a further 71% claimed they had been moderately or severely affected.

Among the reasons given by the charities as to why people were accessing their services, 65% said it was because of the increases in the cost of food, 52% said it was the rise of energy bills, 63% said it was changes in universal credit, 60% gave unemployment as the reason and 54% said low pay.

Running on empty

FareShare has launched a new campaign, Running on Empty, ​to highlight the affect the cost of living crisis is having on struggling families in the UK. The charity is appealing for more donations, volunteers and food to help people at risk of hunger in the UK.

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: “Our survey of our charity network illustrates the impact that price rises, and the cost of living crisis is having on communities across the UK.

“With predictions that inflation is set to rise yet further, the ongoing impact that the conflict in Ukraine is having and expected tax rises, it is clear that many families – who faced furlough and uncertainty during the pandemic – are now experiencing added difficult hardship.”

Massive redistribution effort

FareShare reported it had redistributed the equivalent of a quarter of a billion meals throughout the COVID pandemic – 105,000 tonnes of food – to people going hungry across the UK.

The redistributed food came from across the industry, as manufacturers faced the uncertainty of foodservice shutdowns, regional lockdowns, changing customer habits and challenging supply chains. 

“Demand for our food is as high as it’s ever been,”​ Boswell added. “That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign, #RunningonEmpty, to highlight the difficult circumstances that many families are facing across the UK and are calling for more support for those struggling to feed themselves, and more donations of food from across the food industry to help meet that need.”

Last year saw food and drink group Princes reduce its global overall food waste by 12.84%,​ with 202 tonnes of surplus food redistributed to charities – including FareShare.

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