Charity redirects 84 tonnes of surplus food in Hartlepool during pandemic as demand soared

A whopping 84 tonnes of food was given out to people at risk of hunger in Hartlepool as a leading charity says the pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities and families.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:02 pm

FareShare the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, published the new figures for how much food it redistributed between April 2020 and April this year.

It passes on surplus and unwanted food from the food industry to 20 charities and community groups in Hartlepool.

The 84 tonnes it redistributed in the town is the equivalent of a staggering 198,708 meals – roughly two for every person in Hartlepool.

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FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell.

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare’s CEO, said: “These figures show the scale of just how many people have been struggling to get enough to eat, during the last year in Hartlepool and all across the UK.

"Our warehouses, staff, volunteers and our network of charities have been working flat out, to support the millions of people and families who are going hungry.

"But just because the lockdown is easing, doesn’t mean people won’t still be struggling.

"Our charities tell us need is still high, and our work continues.”

FareShare redistributes surplus food to a network of nearly 11,000 charities and charity groups, including 20 within Hartlepool.

Of the more than 10,000 charities and community groups FareShare supports through its network nationally, nine out of 10 say they have experienced unprecedented demand for food throughout the pandemic.

More than a third of the food it redistributes comes via its Surplus With Purpose scheme which involves working with smaller farmers and suppliers to save fresh food that would otherwise be rejected for sale such as for being the wrong shape or size.

Some supermarkets are also supporting the scheme.

James Persad, head of marketing at FareShare, added: “About a third of all the food we produce in the world is wasted each year.

“In the UK alone more than 2 million tonnes of food is good-to-eat, when it is thrown away, and with people still going hungry that’s scandalous."

FareShare is also calling on the Government and food industry to do much more to stop needless waste and cut carbon emissions.

Food waste is said to be a huge contributor to global warming with the charity saying it accounts for at least 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

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