FareShare, the UK’s biggest food charity, has teamed up with XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of transportation and logistics solutions, to run two new national distribution centres which have so far delivered enough food to provide almost 10 million meals for vulnerable people through the pandemic.
“With millions more people now struggling to access food as the result of the crisis, it has never been more vital to pull together to ensure the most vulnerable in our society don’t fall through the gaps. Thanks to partners like XPO Logistics and Asda, we’ve now doubled the amount of food we’re getting out to charities working on the frontline – and we’re extremely grateful for their support.”
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive
The FareShare network, made up of 17 different independent food redistribution organisations, is currently supplying 11,000 charities and community groups with more than double the amount of food each week than in the months before lockdown began. Applications from new charities wishing to receive food have also tripled.
To meet the skyrocketing demand the charity has partnered with XPO Logistics to operate two new warehouses in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, and Banbury in Oxfordshire, through the pandemic. Both sites are managing non-perishable food only. Typically, FareShare distributes fresh surplus food to charities who then use it to cook nutritious meals, however, because of the lockdown, many charities are adapting their services and are now delivering food parcels onto people’s doorsteps. The ambient food needed to make up these parcels has either been generously donated by retailers or purchased with funding from Defra.
So far, more than 4,141 tonnes of food has been redistributed through the Lutterworth and Banbury warehouses – with 436 tonnes distributed last week alone, enough to provide over 1 million meals.
XPO Logistics is donating staff time and resources – deploying colleagues at both warehouse sites and running the operation on the ground, while FareShare is working with the food industry to divert food supplies – either donated by retailers or purchased using emergency funding from Defra – to each site. These supplies will then be sent on to FareShare’s 30-strong network of warehouses across the UK as well as to Trussell Trust sites and other food redistribution organisations such as City Harvest and Felix Project.
The Lutterworth warehouse site has been donated by Asda as part its programme to help FareShare and the Trussell Trust continue to get food to those who need it most throughout the pandemic. As well as donating the warehouse space Asda has also made a £5 million donation, split between both charities, which will continue the work of Fight Hunger Create Change – a partnership between the three organisations that aims to tackle the root causes of poverty.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “The crisis has presented FareShare with a challenge like nothing we’ve ever experienced. We’ve had to significantly adapt our operations while demand for our service has soared, and continues to soar. With millions more people now struggling to access food as the result of the crisis, it has never been more vital to pull together to ensure the most vulnerable in our society don’t fall through the gaps. Thanks to partners like XPO Logistics and Asda, we’ve now doubled the amount of food we’re getting out to charities working on the frontline – and we’re extremely grateful for their support.”
Gavin Williams, managing director, supply chain – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics said: “This is a fantastic initiative, a collaboration that really does have a significant impact on the groups of people most affected by the pandemic. Our part in the food journey is in creating mixed pallets and consolidating them, before they reach the food banks. We are proud to be playing a role in expanding and speeding up the supply of essential goods to the front-line doorstep delivery.”
Simon Blackman, Senior Manager Commercial, Asda Logistics Services: “It has never been more important to help our communities through this difficult and unprecedented time, which is why we are incredibly proud to support our Fight Hunger Create Change partners, FareShare and the Trussell Trust, to be able to provide food to the most vulnerable people throughout this crisis. In addition to the £5 million donation we have made to our partners to help them through this challenging time, we are delighted to be able to donate space in our warehouse to support the infrastructure of the charities’, ensuring more food can get to those in need across the country. In addition, our amazing customers are continuing to donate to our food bank trollies in store and I’d like to thank them and our colleagues for continuing to support those in their community through this time of need.”