FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund is working to reduce food waste by offering grants of up to £50,000 to companies to help offset the additional costs incurred when redistributing surplus food to charity versus other routes such as anaerobic digestion or landfill.
The Fund is open to new companies, as well as companies which already work with FareShare and are seeking to redistribute additional surplus food items and aims to unlock harder to reach surplus food. It can cover packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion. It could also be used to cover the additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting edible surplus food, or in building, implementing and managing new processes – see examples of eligible costs for more information.
FareShare, the UK’s biggest food redistribution charity, has signed up 25% more food businesses to divert surplus food or donate food to organisations supporting people in need since lockdown measures began.
Before the pandemic, FareShare worked with around 600 food partners to divert surplus food that would have otherwise been wasted to frontline charities such as homeless hostels, food banks, breakfast clubs for children and domestic violence refuges.
As a result of the overnight shutdown of the food service sector in March, an additional 144 businesses across the supply chain signed up to help - several of them accessing a grant through FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund, which allowed them to divert their surplus at no additional cost which provided additional relief in these uncertain times.
With the support of new and existing food partners, FareShare has now tripled the amount of food it distributes – helping charities and community groups across the UK to deliver over 3 million meal each week.
Shula Granville, Commercial Manager at FareShare, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of new businesses getting in touch to divert their surplus food. More than 2,200 tonnes of fresh produce has been diverted to FareShare so far through the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund – and never has it been more needed than it is right now.
“The unwavering support of food partners has been the critical factor in helping us increase the amount of food we’re getting out to those in desperate need during this crisis.
“However, as we head into a period of recession, we know many more people who’d previously been ‘just about getting by’ will now be at greater risk of food insecurity and hunger. With the continued support of our food partners we’re gearing up to ensure we can continue getting food onto the plates of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities in the very difficult months and years to come.”
Simon Scott, General Manager at DGM Growers explains: “As British farmers we face constantly changing weather conditions that directly impact our crops, whether that is a lot of rain, continued warm weather or cold spells, it is something that we cannot control but that has a consequence.
“Working with FareShare allows us to manage our crops more effectively; the opportunity to have a market that can handle any production peaks, odd shaped or soiled product (that is unsuitable for retailers but still fresh and healthy) has a positive effect on our business and vastly reduces food waste. We are delighted with the relationship that we have established with FareShare and hope that all recipients of our freshly harvested vegetables are equally pleased.”