Groceries & Goodwill
Yours|Issue 311
Groceries & Goodwill

Meet the charity turning tonnes of food waste into hearty meals for the homeless, hungry and in need this Christmas

Katharine Wootton

Walking up and down the aisles of the FareShare warehouse, boxes and boxes of temptingly tasty food tower above us, from stacks of chocolates to bulging crates of winter fruit and veg. All this food is perfectly within date and worthy of the finest Christmas party, but everything here has been saved from heading straight to landfill.

This is just one of a network of FareShare warehouses across the country, all equally packed with leftover food that would otherwise be binned. But in the hands of this nationwide charity, thankfully, this food will not go to waste. Instead, it does a great deal of good as a band of happy volunteers in Christmas jumpers scan the shelves packing hampers of goodies for groups who really need this food. They range from women’s refuges to homeless shelters, elderly luncheon groups to school breakfast clubs for children who might otherwise not get a proper meal that day.

FareShare started one Christmas 24 years ago as an initiative between the homeless charity Crisis and the supermarket firm Sainsbury’s. Initially meant to be a one-off, the pilot went so well that FareShare turned into a charity in its own right, dedicated to fighting food waste and hunger, not just every Christmas but the whole year round.

Today FareShare reaches nearly 10,000 community groups across the country, intercepting 16,992 tonnes of food waste to make around 36.7 million meals per year. And all this comes from food the supermarkets and producers simply don’t want.

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Issue 311