last updated on: 28th Jan 2013
PLEASE NOTE WE DO NOT SUPPLY FOOD TO INDIVIDUALS, ONLY TO ACCREDITED COMMUNITY GROUPS. WE ONLY OPERATE PART TIME – MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS.
FareShare Leicester – A Project Worth Supporting!
In the current economic climate, people on the margins of society are often hit the hardest. The basic necessities of life, such as where the next meal is coming from, become a major issue for them.
By 2008/09, 13m people were in poverty. Of these, 5.8m (44% of the total) were in ‘deep poverty’ (household income at least one-third below the poverty line), the highest proportion on record. [Joseph Rowntree Foundation]
FareShare Leicester helps to feed over 2000 of the most seriously disadvantaged people in Leicestershire, using surplus food from the food industry.
The Project was started as a pilot in February 2007, by the Director of Social Responsibility for the Diocese of Leicester. On 1st July 2008 it became a van franchise of the national charity FareShare (www.fareshare.org.uk). FareShare takes good quality surplus food from the food industry that is used for those in need, rather than being sent to landfill. All food is within its use-by date and complies with strict hygiene legislation.
FareShare Leicester, distributes food (free of charge) to support groups that meet the FareShare criteria, regardless of religious or other affiliation, weekly on a Monday to 22 groups, with more on the waiting list. Much of the food has come from the FareShare depots in Birmingham and Bristol. However, local Sainsbury’s and Coop stores and EAT Coffee shop allow the groups to collect surplus food each day.
Fareshare Leicester now distributes around 25 tonnes of good quality food, each quarter, to help feed people who are: -
- on low or no wage, especially where children or young people are at risk
- asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers, refugees,
- homeless, or vulnerably housed
- vulnerable elderly
- at risk due to mental health problems, learning difficulties, or HIV/AIDS
- women and children affected by domestic violence
- street workers in the sex industry
Presently, we only distribute food one day a week. We are a self supporting project, entirely dependent upon donations and income raised through membership fees. Our van hire and fuel costs over £100 per week. We have two part time personnel and now have around 25 volunteers.
The aim of FareShare Leicester is to raise sufficient funds to set up a full time depot to serve Leicester, Leicestershire and the East Midlands, distributing over 300 tonnes of food a year to people living at the margins of society. To do that we will need suitably equipped industrial warehouse premises, two paid full time managers, dedicated vehicles, etc.
As an interim development stage, we have taken on two industrial units at Narborough, courtesy of Leicestershire County Council. These are already allowing us to improve our service by giving facilities to take in bulk distributions, sort and store food. However, this exciting development will cost and additional £15,000 p.a. to operate, which is a 50% uplift on our present operating costs.
Is it better to put useable food to good use to help destitute and disadvantaged people, or dump it to landfill?
Simone Connolly; Project Co-ordinator Bob Rushton, Project Officer (Operations) John Willetts, Project Director
Mob: 07863 763 647
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