FareShare South West joined Feeding 5000 to highlight the issues of food waste and food poverty on Saturday 12th May. The event held on College Green was an opportunity for charities and organisations in Bristol to draw attention to food waste and food poverty at a local, national and international level.
FareShare South West, which operates out of a depot in Easton, works with nearly 70 charities in the Bristol area collecting food from supermarkets and businesses which otherwise would have been thrown away and re-distributing it to charities working with vulnerable people and the homeless.
Andy Street, Chair of FareShare told Thisisbristol.co.uk: “Over the past 4 years, since FareShare was established, we have gradually seen more awareness of the whole issue around food waste… We are increasingly working with number of local food retailers and manufacturers as well as the big nationals, and we are also working alongside other organisations who work at a community level like Food Bank. There is a real sense of working together in a way that has never been seen before in Bristol…We give opportunities to vulnerable people to work as volunteers gaining work experience and employment – it’s something we are very proud of.”
Thousands of tonnes of perfectly good in-date food are sent to landfill in the South West each year due to packaging errors, out of date promotions, discontinued lines and so on. At the same time, there are over 4 million people in the UK who cannot afford a healthy diet, among them homeless and elderly people, children in disadvantaged areas, refugees and people suffering mental and physical health problems.
FareShare South West aims to address this imbalance by redistributing quality surplus food to groups working with vulnerable individuals in and around Bristol. The food encourages disadvantaged people into an environment where they can receive appropriate support; and enables recipient organisations to reinvest funds into improving services such as housing advice, medical services and training, which help people to rebuild their lives.
Through their warehouse, which CRASH has helped make fit for purpose, they also offer volunteering and training opportunities to members of the public, including (to a large extent) clients of our Community Members, who are often homeless or at risk of homelessness.