We have delivered enough food to create 536,113 meals to frontline charities supporting vulnerable people since lockdown measures began – all possible due to the extraordinary efforts of our volunteers and supporters.
In the eight weeks following the lockdown, demand for our service soared and as a result more than 225 tonnes of in-date, good quality food has been redistributed in just nine weeks. This quantity is put into perspective, as over the course of the last year 606 tonnes were distributed in total. As well as fresh food, we’re providing more ambient food than ever, with packets and tins to help create food parcels for those who are struggling and self-isolating, as well as to help food banks keep stocked as they see unprecedented demand.
To help meet this additional demand, we are so grateful to the local community who has come together to support us, with Ashton Gate FC donating event space during the crisis to allow us to store up to 150 additional pallets of food. Bristol’s Clifton College has also made and donated 100 pieces of PPE to keep volunteers helping in the warehouse and on the vans safe, whilst meat producer field&flower has fundraised and donated enough money to FareShare South West to distribute food for up to 89,000 meals for vulnerable people. Bristol-based ALD Automotive has also donated £10,000 alongside the use of two vans and employees’ time, which has enabled the charity to deliver from Ashton Gate (home to Bristol City FC) to charities across the region – including in Devon and Cornwall, an area FareShare South West had not served before.
Julian Mines, CEO of FareShare South West, said: “Because of the lockdown many more families and individuals are finding themselves in really tough circumstances, and demand for our food has skyrocketed. We’re doing everything we can to continue to get food onto people’s plates, whether that’s delivering fresh food to homeless hostels and domestic violence refuges, or supplying community organisations with the packets and tins they need to get vital food supplies onto the doorsteps of families who are self-isolating.
“We’re incredibly grateful to our team of volunteers who have gone above and beyond to get this food out, and to the local community for supporting us with food, PPE and financial donations.
These are tough times for everyone and it’s so heartening to see our community pull together to get food out to people who need it during this crisis.”
Mark Kelly, managing director at Ashton Gate Stadium, said: “I’m really pleased that Ashton Gate can be used in this practical way to directly help our community. Partnering with a national charity like FareShare is a great chance for us to be able to help ensure much-needed aid gets to those who need it most.”
James Mansfield, Co-Founder at field&flower, said: “As a Somerset based company supporting local farmers and producers, extending this support to our wider community has always been important to us. Partnering with FareShare South West enables us to deliver our nutritious meat and fish to vulnerable people in the region, who would otherwise not have access to this. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we also launched a new initiative enabling our customers and field&flower to directly increase our financial donations and in the space of just two months we raised enough to help FareShare South West provide more than 100,000 meals. Alongside our customers, we are proud to have played our part in supporting our community.”
With economic uncertainty ahead, including job losses for many, the need for food support in the South West looks set to continue if not worsen. We need to be here to ensure no one goes unnecessarily hungry.
If you can, consider donating: https://faresharesouthwest.org.uk/support-us/donate-to-fareshare-south-west/