FareShare, the UK’s largest food charity, has launched “Feed People First”, a campaign calling for the public to sign a petition that could help deliver an extra 100,000 tonnes of good surplus food to charities across the country.
FareShare North East, based in Newcastle and run in partnership by Changing Lives, redistributes surplus food to 120 local frontline charities and community groups. The charities provide more than 660,000 nutritious meals a year, along with life changing support, to help people get back on their feet.
Every year at least 270,000 tonnes of good food is wasted in UK food production.
This is because for food manufacturers, processors and packers it can be more expensive to redistribute good quality surplus food to the charities which support the 8.4 million people in the UK who go hungry than it is to send it to other processes of disposal.
FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said:
“It’s completely wrong that we have a situation where it’s cheaper to send thousands of tonnes of good edible food to anaerobic digestion plants or to animal feed, when there are millions of people experiencing food insecurity and regularly skipping meals across the UK right now.
“FareShare redistributes just 5% of the available surplus food, but with that we help feed half a million people a week – so just imagine what we could do with 100,000 tonnes. This is what France already does, and we know we can do it here too.
“We have the capacity, we know more charities want us to help them – we just need the Government to help us access the food.”
FareShare is asking the Government to offset the costs of charitable food redistribution which could include re-packing, harvesting, transporting, storage and handling, so that 100,000 tonnes of food could be used for people in need. By doing this, UK charities could be saved £150m, savings which they could reinvest into their services and feed even more people in need.
“Food waste is something that no one wants, especially when there is a simple solution, so we urge everyone to sign the petition and help feed people first,” Lindsay said.
You can sign the petition online here: feedpeoplefirst.org. The deadline for signatures is 3rd May 2018.