May 2020 sees our expansion into Devon & Cornwall, supporting 5 organisations across the two counties with emergency food support in response to the impact of Coronavirus.
Initially we will be working alongside Exeter Food Action to deliver much of this work, utilising their Exeter depot as a sub-depot to support Exeter charities. In addition, we will provide emergency food support to four other frontline charities, based in Plymouth, Bodmin and other areas of high deprivation. As many of you will know, our main depot is in Bristol and our work in the region currently reaches organisations across the City of Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
This expansion follows our busiest month in our 13 years of operating, which has seen demand for its service soar. Across the UK, applications from new charities wishing to receive food have increased threefold and FareShare’s existing network of members are also under increased strain as they are serving more people placed into financial hardship.
Julian Mines, FareShare South West CEO says: “Devon and Cornwall have some shocking statistics on extreme deprivation and food poverty and as such the two counties have been high on our agenda for some time. In this time of crisis, we are acutely aware that many people living in these counties will be facing greater hardship, with increased isolation possible and loss of income as businesses serving tourists may remain closed.
“The impact of the Coronavirus has prompted us to begin food support in these areas sooner than we had planned. Though we have plans to operate fully within the two counties, at present the focus will be on getting ambient food to our highest priority partner organisations. This will still have a significant impact, but we know moving forward – and beyond this crisis – our impact will be even greater.”
Our expansion into Devon & Cornwall has been made possible by funding from Asda – through the three-year Fight Hunger Create Change partnership between Asda, FareShare and the Trussell Trust – along with a number of smaller funders.
Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare UK, said: “As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, FareShare’s network of warehouses, staff and volunteers across the UK are doing everything they can to continue getting food supplies to those who need it most. Never has it been more important to get good, nutritious food to those most vulnerable.
“We are grateful to Asda for their continued support, which is enabling FareShare South West to expand their vital work into Devon & Cornwall during what is a challenging and critical time.”