NFU Mutual Swansea office is proud to have nominated Fareshare Cymru as the second charity to receive a donation from the National £2 million ‘NFU Mutual Agency giving Fund.’
We spoke to the Manager, Sarah Germain, who gave us the background behind Fareshare and informed us of the fantastic work the charity has been getting up to during these challenging times:
1.Tell me a bit about your charity and why you are so passionate about the cause?
FareShare Cymru works to fight hunger by tackling food waste. We take good quality surplus, edible food from the food industry and redistribute it to organisation that help feed people in need, turning an environmental problem into a social solution. FareShare Cymru was established in 2010 and has been redistributing food since July 2011. We are an independent charity, but part of the network of FareShare's across the UK.
In Wales circa 400,000 tonnes of food are wasted by the food and drink industry each year. If only 1% of that is edible it is enough to contribute to over 9 million meals. This is at a time when almost a quarter of the Welsh population are living in poverty and people are struggling to access good, nutritious food and regularly go hungry. We want to see that food put to good use by distributing it to disadvantaged people across Wales.
In the last 12 months (between 23rd March 2020 and 22nd March 2021), FareShare Cymru has redistributed over 1163 tonnes of food (447 tonnes were surplus), enough to contribute to over 2.777 million meals and support 188 charities and community organisations. Over 150 people have volunteered, giving over 14,800 hours of their time. In addition, we have facilitated the implementation of an emergency response in both north and west Wales.
2.Do you have any long term/short term goals in mind?
In April we are hoping to start our first afternoon/evening slot to make room for more local collection point deliveries. July 2021 is the 10th Anniversary of our first delivery, we are planning to mark this in some way (but this partly depends on what we can do by then!) We have developed a three-year strategic plan, that sees us developing FareShare in Wales, building on the emergency responses in north and west Wales and hopefully making these more permanent.
3.What does a typical day look like for the charity?
The first members of team arrive around 7:30-8:00 and open up and get ready. Volunteers usually start arriving from about 8:30. All the checks are completed, the vans are got ready, the first deliveries of the day are loaded (picked the day before) and off the vans go. Throughout the day deliveries arrive in articulated lorries and are offloaded. These are then checked, sorted and all items are logged. At the same time other orders are being picked and going out on other vans on other routes or being collected from our warehouse by our community members and also towards the afternoon are being picked for the next day. Other members of the team will be recruiting and on-boarding new food donors, community food members or volunteers.
4.What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on FareShare?
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that FareShare Cymru has been incredibly busy during the last year. We have seen demand for our services increase dramatically. We have doubled the number of community groups and charities that we support, the amount of food redistributed and our number of volunteers. We have managed to continue to provide a service throughout the pandemic. In addition to this, in response to demand we worked in partnership with FareShare Merseyside to provide an emergency response in north Wales and with Castell Howell initially and then the Red Cross in west Wales.
5.What can people do to help support the charity?
There are numerous ways that people can support us:
- Volunteering - we are always on the lookout for new volunteers and we are currently especially looking for drivers and for volunteers for our new afternoon shift (email email@example.com)
- Donations - financial donations are always welcome - we estimate that for every £1 donated we can redistribute 4 meals
- Food Businesses - we are always looking for good quality surplus food donations (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Community groups and charities - if you use food for social good then we may be able to help so get in touch (email: email@example.com)
NFU Mutual’s £2million Agency Giving Fund forms part of a series of initiatives NFU Mutual has committed for the benefit of customers and communities affected by coronavirus. To find out more, please visit our Coronavirus Information Hub.