'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 192.

    Salvadore 182 - I happen to agree with you. However, some on this Board do seem to think that if you are on Benefits you must be poor and starving. I was trying to point out that this isn't always the case. The whole tax and benefits system needs overhauling and the Benefits Culture dismantled. I was speaking to an employer today who was bemoaning his inability to get staff. Makes you think!

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    Newquay14 your quite right. Some here think the poor are better off poor and should be condemned to a life of handouts. Socialists prefer the poor poorer so long as the rich are poorer. They think its wrong for society to give guidance to get out of poverty. I believe in charity with an agenda to get those in receipt out of the poverty trap.

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    177.Andrew Morton
    Its simple the greedy lead by the politicians are not interested in the people only in money for their supporters
    They don't care about the people who cannot give them money and are too stupid to understand a strong economy starts with a fair distribution of wealth which funds growth from the masses spending not the few saving ever greater amounts

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.


    We have been running a deficit for decades, this deficit was made worse by the banks. If the government didn't bail them out people would have lost their savings and that would have been disastrous. Why is it then that rest of the tax payers, the students, the pensioners, the working class people, people with needs, on benefits are having to pay for their mistakes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    David Horton is so right and accurately confirms what a relative told me who had a job as a Supervisor in a Benefits Office. The toilets were used for drug drops. The childrens toys stolen. Another office was nicknamed "Lourdes" as after obtaining Disability Benefit some were able to walk again - back to their expensive cars sitting in the car park. Unpalatable maybe, but true sadly!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    I cannot believe how horribly judgmental some people are !!

  • Comment number 186.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    #101 Foxy1952. Thanks for your rude and unimaginative reply. So what exactly is the problem with new workhouses? It makes sense to offer accommodation, food and employment in one roof plus some moral reform. It sounds better than glibly chucking out handouts which solve nothing long term. Its like giving charity without offering a way out of needing it. At your age I am surprised you don't get it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Darren Shepperd

    To burst your class-war bubble.

    Most'tory-run' businesses (as you call them) are law abiding and do not employ people cash in hand.

    If I was to be a class-war plonker, I could argue that cash in hand jobs are usually window cleaner, ice-cream men type jobs, typical Labour voters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    179.David Horton
    If you know 25% are already working why are you not having them arrested or is the truth you dont know but as a good tory would rather make up figures to back up your biased opinion.
    I do agree some are on the fiddle and more should be done to find these people and bring them to book but to claim 25% is a lie and ignore tory run businesses are happy to employ these people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    I don't like seeing my taxes being misused by people claiming benefits they shouldn't have however, I don't tar them all with the same brush, if families are having to go and look for handouts they must be desperate and people need to help them. Our taxes go on education, defence etc. Aswell as welfare. Why not have a go at the big companies who avoid paying taxes in their millions

  • Comment number 181.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    174 Abrhm. Have you seen anyone starving? I haven't! The amount of litter festooning the outside of McDonalds, KFC and chip shops would indicate the opposite. Come on - how can this government have caused starvation in the short time it's been in? How about the profigracy of the last government? How about the Union Leaders? Time to take responsibility for oneself not blame others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    Ever worked in a benefit office?

    Thought not

    I have. 6 years.
    From REAL experience:

    25% of claimants are already working.
    25% have no intention or inclination of working and have a pretty good life on the dole.
    25% are on it less than a few months.
    The last 25%, need a helping hand. These people are the ones we should be looking after.

    The rest should be forced to work for their dole

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    "They've taken billions of pounds out of the economy and have made everything much, much worse."

    They have taken out the money we didn't have in the first place. You do understand that? We are running a deficit - you do understand what that is?

    re - 124. Poster heatoreat was challenged to put up his weekly spending v benefit, but as yet has not done so.

    Any other takers? Show your weekly spend?

  • 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 176.

    162.stan howard

    Under a Labour government, they give 23 bankers honours, including Fred Goodwin, brought three into the Government as ministers and involved 37 in commissions and advisory bodies.
    So when you consider the amount of money borrowed by Labour from the city, who do you think the city loved most.........

  • 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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Now people are starving? Enough is enough. Let's get rid of these ruthless and self-serving Tories. They've taken billions of pounds out of the economy and have made everything much, much worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    Mr max
    We aren't talking about people on that level of benefits which is rare. Tge majority if people on benefits struggle to make ends meet. I don't about you but it must be heart wrenching, embarrassing and families last option to seek hand outs. NOBODY chooses to live on handouts from charities, a society us judged on how they deal with the poor the less well off in their society.


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