Top regional food charity releases new figures revealing hunger problem in East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 14:34 28 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:34 28 May 2018
The region's largest food charity has released brand new figures highlighting the hunger problem in East Anglia.
FareShare East Anglia published the numbers in recognition of World Hunger Day, which is taking place today.
The figures show a worrying trend in the demand for food donations in the region, with increases across all operational areas, including a rise in the number of people receiving surplus food which has been saved from going to waste.
A huge 3,258 people in need are fed by the charity every week, which sources its food from 500 companies across the supply chain – from major retailers like Tesco and Asda, to manufacturers such as Kellogg’s and Nestlé.
The charity redistributes food that has become surplus, often long before it reaches a supermarket shelf, because of forecasting errors, seasonal changes or damaged packaging.
FareShare East Anglia saved 55.16 tonnes of food from waste in 2017/18, and provided enough food for 131,340 meals. It supported 39 charities and community groups, and the food it supplied enabled the charity sector to make £308,100 in savings.
FareShare Manager Michael Barrett said: “Food poverty can happen to anyone, and it can happen quickly. The charities we provide food to support those who have lost their homes, left the Armed Forces and struggled to adjust, escaped violent relationships, fallen into drug or alcohol misuse or simply can no longer cook for themselves.
“Food is the connector – when it’s joined with the life changing support services provided by our frontline charity members, we know it’s the enabler to help get people back on their feet.”
Without FareShare food, one in five charities say they would probably or definitely have to close, while 58% say they would have to reduce the amount of food they provide, and one in four would have to cut back other services.
Earlier this year, FareShare East Anglia opened a regional branch in Ipswich to tackle food waste and feed the needy – the charity’s 21st UK regional centre.
Former mayor of Ipswich Sarah Barber was among the guests at the grand opening in January, which was made possible through a £500,000 donation by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation as part of its ‘Fill Your Tank’ programme.