1. Tell us what you do.
FareShare is a food redistribution charity. We save good food destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. We work across 21 regional centres in the UK where we sort and redistribute surplus food, which we give to local charities and voluntary organisations with the help of our own fantastic volunteers.
We also facilitate connections between local groups and nearby supermarket stores, in order for them to receive the surplus food from the store on a regular basis. In the West Midlands, we are currently focusing on Tesco Express stores in Black Country, with the aim of getting as many organisations as possible connected to their nearby store in order to make use of the surplus food on offer.
We work with a range of organisations, including lunch clubs, youth groups, breakfast clubs, foodbanks and various support groups to provide them with high quality surplus food on a regular basis. Across the West Midlands, there are 151 charities signed up to receive food from our Regional Centre in Nechells, and 420 collecting food from their nearby supermarkets. We never give food past its use by date and work with charities to ensure high standards of food hygiene are maintained.
2. What is your proudest achievement?
In March 2017 FareShare in the West Midlands celebrated its 10th birthday. In 10 years we have provided 10 million meals to voluntary organisations across the West Midlands. It is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the real difference surplus food can make to the community.
3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have attended breakfast meetings, which has been a fantastic way to meet other local organisations.
4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
To never underestimate the dedication of those in the voluntary sector. We continue to find amazing charities and organisations who are committed to doing great work in the area.
5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We hope to continue to expand our work – reaching more community groups, feeding more people, and tapping into more unsold, surplus food and putting it to good use!
6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Networking is so important to us. We are constantly looking for new organisations who could benefit from surplus food, and we always need more volunteers to help us with our work. Any opportunity to get the word out there and meet local groups is invaluable.