Written by Samantha Lade, DonateToday
Published: Wednesday, 11th April 2018

UK charity launch petition to help deliver an extra 100,000 tonnes of wasted food to the 1 in 8 going hungry

UK charity launch petition to help deliver an extra 100,000 tonnes of wasted food to the 1 in 8 going hungry

The UK's largest food charity has launched a new campaign calling for the public to sign a petition that could help deliver an extra 100,000 tonnes of good surplus food to charities across the country.

FareShare's 'Feed People First' campaign is now aiming to get as many signatures as possible to change the lives of the 8.4 million people in the UK who are going hungry.

At least 270,000 tonnes of good food is wasted in UK food production every single year.

This is because it can be more expensive for those in the food industry to redistribute good quality surplus food to the charities who support the 1 in 8 who reported having insufficient food in the UK, than it is to send it to other processes of disposal.

Food products become surplus for several reasons, including: overproduction, packaging malfunctions, labelling errors, and short shelf lives.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said: 'It's completely wrong that we have a situation where it's cheaper to send thousands of tonnes of good edible food to anaerobic digestion plants or to animal feed, when there are millions of people experiencing food insecurity and regularly skipping meals across the UK right now.'

FareShare currently redistribute 13,500 tonnes – equalling just 5% – of the UK's available surplus food to charities, who are helping to feed individuals in hospices, homeless shelters, children's breakfast clubs and women's refuges.

But, with that 5%, they are able to feed half a million people a week. 

Now, FareShare want UK residents to imagine how many people the charity could feed with access to 100,000 tonnes of surplus food.

This model is already a success in France, but FareShare need help to do it here in the UK.

"An estimated 8.4 million people – the equivalent of entire population of London – reported having insufficient food in the UK in 2014."

- The Food Foundation / UN, 2016

The charity is asking the Government to offset the costs of charitable food redistribution which could include re-packing, harvesting, transporting, storage and handling, so that 100,000 tonnes of food could be used by people in desperate need.

By doing this, UK charities could be saving £150m – which they could reinvest into their services to help feed more families too poor to eat, says the charity.

Lindsay finishes: 'We have the capacity, we know more charities want us to help them - we just need to Government to help us access the food.

'Food waste is something that no one wants, especially when there is a simple solution, so we urge everyone to sign the petition and help feed people first.'

To sign FareShares's Feed People First petition and make a difference to millions of lives before the campaign's deadline on 3rd May 2018, please click here.