FareShare tackling food poverty head on

Jeff Green, manager at the Food Distribution Centre.
Jeff Green, manager at the Food Distribution Centre.

The work of a food charity in Burnley has been highlighted in a short film commissioned to fight food poverty and limit waste that clogs landfills with tonnes of edible food every year.

Preston-based Recycling Lives works with various charity groups in the Burnley area and has set up the Food Distribution Centre, from which they provide fresh, in-date food donated by supermarkets.

Working with national food poverty charity FareShare, Recycling Lives feeds thousands of people through various other charitable causes - including Burnley Emmaus, Bean Good Coffee Shop, The Rocking Horse Club, Turning Pages, The Work Company, and Inspiring Grace - to help those who would otherwise struggle to access regular, healthy, free, or low-cost meals.

“We feed people who are struggling financially, serving 20 - 30 meals a day, with about 90% coming from FareShare,” said Jess Charlton, Well-being Centre Co-ordinator at Bean Good Coffee Shop. “We’d struggle without FareShare.”

FareShare CFMs (Community Food Members), pay a monthly fee to take collections of a wide range of foods to provide nutritious meals, including at school breakfast clubs or homeless shelters.

“The food, from fresh fruit and vegetables to meat or frozen items, creates meals which are just the tip of the iceberg in the help these groups give,” explained Jeff Green, Recycling Lives’ Centre Manager. “Our CFMs also support people with budgeting, cooking, employability, parenting, financial advice, and much more.”

FoodShare is helping to fight food poverty in a country where 4.7 million people regularly go hungry.

FoodShare is helping to fight food poverty in a country where 4.7 million people regularly go hungry.

Via the Food Distribution Cente, FareShare has distributed more than 600,000 meals to date - more than 10,000 every week - and diverts thousands of tonnes of food waste from landfills, whilst also saving CFMs around £13,000 a year.

And with 360 million meals-worth of food being wasted every year by UK retailers in addition to the seven million tonnes of household food and drink being thrown away, FareShare’s work takes on further importance, especially given 4.7 million Brits regularly go hungry.

Steve Jackson, CEO and founder of Recycling Lives , said: “[The film] demonstrates the incredible social impact that a business can have on its community by supporting the essential work delivered by charities across Lancashire.”