FareShare South West, a charity which redistributes surplus food to tackle food poverty, has been granted £30,000 in funding by St John’s Foundation to launch Year 1 of an innovative new scheme targeting the issue of child hunger in Bath and North East Somerset.
In 2019, FareShare South West was awarded a grant to run a pilot project spanning Bath and North East Somerset, which saw a number of school breakfast clubs and holiday projects – including St Martin’s Garden in Odd Down and Twerton Infant School – benefit from good quality, in date surplus food from right across the food industry that would otherwise go to waste.
As an already established charity across many areas of the South West, this extra funding will see an expansion of that pilot project in Bath and North East Somerset, with greater engagement with charities within the region. With its warehouse in Bristol, FareShare South West has run a similar project in the city and has successfully built a community of around 250 charities and organisations who benefit from the redistribution of this surplus food.
Julian Mines, FareShare South West’s CEO, explained, “Expanding our reach further into Bath and North East Somerset is in direct response to the rise in child hunger across the region. After a successful pilot project, and with demonstrated impact on some of the most vulnerable in Bath and North East Somerset, we’re delighted that St John’s Foundation has granted us the funds to make the first official year of the project possible.
“The first year has seen us establish regular deliveries into school breakfast clubs and community centres, including setting up a ‘Food Pantry’ with partners Mercy in Action. This allows families to shop for a range of fresh and ambient surplus food, much like they would in a supermarket but at a fraction of the cost.
“The scheme moving forward is all about building a coalition of charities and settings which encounter and support children and families, and ensuring they have access to food. By doing this, we hope fewer children with drop through the net and experience child hunger. We take away the barrier to accessing food for the charities – a factor that may be preventing them from engaging fully with their target end users – by maintaining a very small membership fee for weekly deliveries of surplus food, making it a sustainable option for them.
“We believe that food is a starting point for supporting children and their families who may be struggling, and current partner charities and settings provide vital wraparound services to tackle other contributing issues.”
For more information or if you believe your organisation might benefit from food surplus, please visit: www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk