'Big rise' in charity food demand, says Fareshare

Food in shopping basket Fareshare passes on surpluses from the food industry to grassroots organisation

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Figures from a charity suggest a sharp rise in demand on charities for food.

Fareshare, which redirects food trade surpluses to those in need, said its donations were reaching 35,000 people a day, up from 29,000 a day last year.

The organisation said it had seen the largest annual increase in the number of charities asking for handouts.

Fareshare said low-income families were struggling with rising food prices, and one in three charities it surveyed was facing government funding cuts.

Unprecedented demand

The charity has 17 locations around the UK and passes on good quality supplies from the British food industry to a wide network of organisations such as homeless hostels, women's refuges, day centres and after-school clubs.

It said that in the year to April it provided 8.6 million meals to 600 groups, and this year it was facing unprecedented demand from some 700 organisations.

The organisation, which works with more than 100 companies in the food and drink industry, said 42% of the charities it surveyed reported an increase in demand for food in the past year.

Some 65% of the charities were slashing food budgets in an effort to stay afloat, it found, according to responses from 150 community members from organisations Fareshare supplies.

Fareshare said there has been an "increase in people and the types of people" seeking food from the charities.

In the past, its donations commonly went to homeless people and refugee charities but more "destitute families" were now among its recipients.

Fareshare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: "At a time of unprecedented demand we want the food industry and the general public to increase their support."

He added: "This research supports the growing anecdotal evidence we've seen in recent months - more people are getting in touch with Fareshare asking for help to access food.

"We're committed to working with grassroots charities to make a significant difference to the diets of people in communities all over the UK but we need more food to meet this increased demand.

"We're asking anyone who works in the food industry in any capacity to look at what is happening to their surplus food and to ask themselves a simple question: 'Could this food stop someone going hungry?'"


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  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    I do not wish to suggest that there is no food poverty however as I am sure there is, but how many claiming they cannot afford the food but then buy cigaretts and alcohol over their bread and milk. I know too many people who buy their cigaretts and then moan that they cannot afford that nights tea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.

    This doesn't surprise me in the slightest as the cost of shopping appears to increase every time we go.

    The cost of living is astronomical. Groceries, petrol, gas, electricity, water rates and council tax are all an absolute rip off. No one should make an absolute fortune by selling essential goods or services. As a "developed nation" we should be ashamed that so many of us cannot afford to eat!

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    Instead of teaching children how to make a pretty salad in the middle of winter, why not teach them how to make nutritious cheep food so they can teach their parent's?
    My food bill has risen from £80 per week last year to £110 this year, buying the same stuff. Food and fuel have rocketed while wages/benefits have stayed the same. My thoughts are with OAPs this winter.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    How have we come to this? How have we - one of the wealthiest nations on the planet - come to the point where we have to hand out food parcels to our own people? How have we come to the point where tens of thousands of people can't afford to eat every day?
    We should be hanging our heads in shame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    My pensioner parents eat well due to my Mums ability to cook and bake, but I know that they are now extremely concerned about finances as their gas and electricity payments have taken another monumental leap, in addition to the price of fuel and food. Also, for single people on the Dole no amount of budgeting will keep you warm and fed on little more than £60 per week.


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