Hovis® donates nearly 30,000 loaves of bread in April to FareShare to help fight hunger and tackle food waste during Covid-19 lockdown

Hovis®, the UK’s iconic 134-year-old bakery brand, has donated just under 30,000 loaves of bread in April alone to FareShare, the UK’s largest and longest-running food redistribution charity, to help keep Britain fed and reduce food waste during the Covid-19 crisis.

Hovis®, which has been supporting FareShare since 2017, has increased the number of loaves it donates in order to meet a surge in demand from FareShare for more bread. In April alone Hovis® donated just under 30,000 loaves of bread to FareShare which supports over 11,000 charities across the UK.

According to figures from the Food & Agricultural Organisation of the UN, around one in eight people in the UK struggle to afford a meal[1] while at the same time the UK has a food waste issue that sees around 250,000 tonnes for food that is fit for consumption being wasted by the UK food industry[2].

The partnership between Hovis® and FareShare aims to help address both problems and is particularly valuable at a time when many people are facing income reductions and, as schools are shut, placing additional strain on vulnerable families whose children were receiving school lunches.

In May, the number of loaves donated via FareShare has already reached 19,952[3]. Hovis® has also increased the number of its sites which donate bread to FareShare. The Hovis® scheme started at its Nottingham bakery in 2017 and in recent months has been increased to cover a further five Hovis® bakeries, geographically ranging from London to Glasgow.

FareShare collects good-to-eat, in-date and surplus food and donates it through frontline charities to homeless shelters, school breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for the elderly and community cafes.

In 2018/19 FareShare distributed 46.5 million meals worth of food, saving the charity sector £33.7million and saving the UK economy £51million pounds each year[4]. As the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown is seeing increased numbers of UK households suffering financial hardship, the work that FareShare does is more important than ever.

The increased demand for the support which organisations such as FareShare provide, due to Covid-19, can be seen in more than 500 new charities which signed up to receive food in March and April, 80% of which provide food parcels. Similarly, most of the existing 11,000 charities it supports have adapted their services to deliver food to people’s doorsteps or to create safe collection points.

Nick Taylor, Site Manager, Hovis’® Nottingham Bakery commented: “At this incredibly challenging time for the UK, it is vital that we all pull together to help those whose livelihoods have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. While we cannot hope to replicate the heroic work being done by NHS workers and care staff on the front line, Hovis® can help by donating good food to those in need, helping fight hunger and cut food waste at the same time.

“We have been working with FareShare for nearly 4 years now, providing them with thousands of loaves of bread a week.”

Ashley Davies, FareShare Commercial Manager, said: “A big thank you to Hovis® for your donations of bread which will go to our network of charities and community groups all across the UK. These organisations include homeless hostels, domestic violence refuges and community groups and food banks delivering food parcels to the doorsteps of vulnerable older people and families facing financial hardship. Hovis® donations will benefit many of those who are most in need during this crisis, and we’re extremely grateful.”

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