by Andy Tattersall
This December we wanted to shine a little spotlight on the people, organisations and gifts that really do give something back. Christmas doesn't have to just be about giving, it can also be a time to really think about how we can all give back.
Over the last few months FareShare has become talk of our family dinner table. Having found myself with a bit more free time during the week, rather than turning to crosswords or Series 3 of The Crown (I do not understand why my eldest daughter is quite so obsessed..!)
I have become a regular volunteer at our local Fareshare distribution centre, helping to prepare and deliver food orders to a wide range of community projects throughout the East Midlands.
We first heard about FareShare when we were at a Mike's Table Supper Club. Set up 25 years ago, FareShare takes good quality, in date surplus food from supermarkets and manufacturers, which would otherwise have been wasted, and redistributes it to frontline charities. Simple.
Last year alone they rescued 20,838 tonnes of food via 22 regional centres across the UK - an impressive figure but just 6% of the food that would otherwise have gone to waste..! That's the same as 10,419 elephants, 2.5 Titanics, 1,647 London buses...I'll just let that sink in for a minute.
So once they have collected the equivalent of 139 whales worth of food, it is then redistributed to over 10,943 charities and community groups including homeless hostels, children's breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for older people, food banks, domestic violence refuges and community cafes. That then in turn provides 46.5 million meals a year for vulnerable people.
But all of this isn't possible without their network of dedicated volunteers. From warehouse assistants, drivers, admin assistants, social media ambassadors, community champions, customer service assistants, volunteer engagement assistants, driver assistants, community fundraisers and warehouse team leaders there is really a role for everyone. And there are seasonal initiatives throughout the year as well.
Any time you can give is gratefully appreciated but if time is not something you have to spare, then fear not, there are other ways you can support FareShare. This Christmas their campaign is focused on giving a hot meal to someone in need. Shockingly, even at Christmas, in the UK millions of people are just scraping by — without enough food for them or their family.The video below explains this much better than I can.
£10 will help us deliver enough fresh, nutritious food to create 40 meals for struggling families, and people facing loneliness. So if you are looking for a gift that will really go the distance, then why not consider supporting FareShare this December.
Head to fareshare.org.uk to get involved.