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Charity Llanelli National News West Wales

Support for local businesses to donate surplus food

FARESHARE Cymru is calling all food companies in Wales to donate food to meet the demand for its surplus food service.

The independent Cardiff-based charity, which was established in 2010, is part of the wider FareShare network of 25 Regional Centres across the UK. Covering South Wales, including Carmarthenshire, while also working in partnership with FareShare Merseyside to support charities in North Wales, the charity redistributes surplus food to 239 charities across Wales.

With a team of 80 volunteers sorting food orders and deliveries to Community Food Members (CFMs), including homeless hostels, community centres, refugee centres and school breakfast clubs, once at its destination the food is either redistributed or repurposed into healthy balanced meals to support vulnerable members of the community.

Since April 2023, FareShare has redistributed 848.2 tonnes of food to people in need – the equivalent of 1,581,470 meals. However, the charity is now seeking an additional 60 tonnes of food per month to meet demand of the current charities and community groups it services.

While 176 charities are on the waiting list to receive food, there are food businesses in Wales, such as farmers, growers, producers, manufacturers and wholesalers keen to donate food that is edible yet wasted as it is too costly or unsuitable for commercial use.

Aiming to overcome the financial barriers of donating surplus food is the Surplus with Purpose Cymru fund. Funded by Welsh Government, the fund makes it cost-neutral for eligible food businesses to donate surplus food to FareShare Cymru, covering the costs of packaging, labour, shipping, and any other costs incurred in the process.

Sarah Germain, CEO of FareShare said: “We’re looking for businesses pan-Wales that can make use of the Surplus with Purpose Cymru fund and do good with their surplus food. We are only scratching the surface in terms of the surplus food that is available. Of an estimated 400,000 tonnes of food wasted in Wales each year, if 1% was edible it would be enough to provide 9 million meals”.

“While currently there are food businesses in Wales helping us get good quality food to those that need it most, we need to get more businesses on board to meet the ever increasing demand. With the fund making it so much easier for businesses to donate, we look forward to hearing from businesses in our plight to help reduce food waste.”

FareShare Cymru has formed partnerships with many Community Food Groups across Wales. One of the charities is Foothold Cymru.

Based in Llanelli, social justice charity Foothold Cymru empowers communities and individuals to achieve real change. They focus on what’s important to the people they support and work with communities to make changes where they’re needed.

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Established in 1991 the charity has helped over 250,000 people, with a commitment to help communities thrive.

Janice Morgan, Deputy Chief Executive of Foothold Cymru said: “The service that FareShare provides makes it easier for us to support our communities, giving individuals the opportunity to enjoy a decent standard of living.

“The food we receive from FareShare is full of goodness, helping us provide those in need with nutritious food. We use the food in many ways, from distributing an affordable box scheme to rural communities to empowering people to cook healthy meals in our cookery classes.

“FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Cymru fund makes it easier than ever for food businesses to donate surplus food, and we encourage all business who can, to donate their surplus food to FareShare. Everyone’s efforts in the process go a long, long way.”

To find out if your business is eligible to donate surplus food to frontline charities, please contact FareShare Cymru general office on 029 2036 2111 or email [email protected].