FareShare has issued a new appeal for surplus food donations after warning the UK is facing a “winter of hunger” due to the combination of a second wave of the pandemic and economic recession.
The food redistribution charity said it had been helped through the pandemic with what it described as a “mammoth effort” from companies including Asda, Sainsbury’s and XPO Logistics, along with funding from Defra, which had enabled the charity to distribute an additional 6,732 tonnes, the equivalent of 16 million meals.
More than 4,000 frontline charities and community groups including food banks, homeless shelters and community centres received food purchased using Defra funding – reaching an estimated 596,000 vulnerable families and individuals at risk of hunger in just four months.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell warned that the situation could become even worse over Christmas and urged companies to donate any surplus food supplies.
“The support of Asda, Sainsbury’s, XPO Logistics and Defra at such a critical time has been crucial in enabling FareShare to quickly respond to the crisis and more than triple the amount of food delivered to frontline charities and community groups nationwide,” he said.
“All partners have made a phenomenal effort to help get good food to those in need and it is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when the commercial and voluntary sectors work together.
“Unfortunately, as we now navigate a second peak and a recession, we are bracing ourselves for unprecedented demand this Christmas. We will continue to work tirelessly to get vital food supplies into communities but in order to sustain food volumes, we encourage any businesses with surplus food to get in touch with FareShare to ensure it gets to those who need it most.”