07 April 2010

Charity Uses 300 Tonnes of Surplus Food to Feed UK Needy

Excerpt from Warmer Bulletin e-newsletter, 26 March 2010

'More than 300 tonnes of surplus food - the equivalent of 800,000 meals will be diverted from landfill sites each year and distributed to homeless and other vulnerable people, following a £362,000 grant from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) to the charity FareShare.

The FareShare Community Food Network provides a paid-for collection service to the food and drink industry to distribute food that no longer has a commercial value but is fit for purpose to local community groups. The LWARB grant is providing 90 per cent of the funding needed to set up a new food distribution depot in the Park Royal business area in North West London. The new depot will lead to the creation of two new jobs and around 50 volunteering opportunities.

The funding was announced by James Cleverly, Chair of LWARB, as he joined the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson to address an audience of city waste experts from around the world at the C40 Cities waste workshop at City Hall. They outlined what London is doing to cut landfill use and exploit maximum economic value from our rubbish.

Tackling food waste is a top priority for LWARB, with 1.4 million tonnes of food waste in the capital, 40 per cent of which ends up dumped in landfill sites. Later this year, the Board's consumer campaign Recycle for London will focus on a food minimisation campaign 'Love Food Hate Waste' and is also working on a Food Waste to Fuel Alliance in partnership with City Hall officials.

James Cleverly said: It is absurd that 8.3 million tonnes of perfectly edible food is chucked away in the UK each year. We are supporting an excellent charity to link up businesses who want to do the right thing with their excess food, with those who will most benefit. Not only will this mean that 300 tonnes each year of surplus food will be used by those who need it, rather than being dumped in landfill, but it will also create valuable job and volunteering opportunities for Londoners. This is part of the Board's vision to cut the amount of rubbish generated in the capital.

'By doing this not only will good food no longer be destroyed but thousands more vulnerable people across London will have regular access to quality food and carbon emissions will be reduced.'

* in 2008/09, the food redistributed by FareShare contributed towards more than 7.4 million meals

* every day an average of 29,000 people benefit from the service FareShare provides, and this will be 6,240 more because of this new depot.

* as well as redistributing food, FareShare provides a programme of education and vocational training opportunities eg. the Eat Well Live Well programme.

*this redistribution of food helped businesses reduce carbon emissions by 13,950 tonnes in 2008/09

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