Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
It was great to visit FareShare’s warehouse in Bristol again last week. FareShare is a national food redistribution charity, taking surplus food from the supermarkets and food manufacturers that would otherwise have gone to waste, and redistributing it to charities, food banks, homeless hostels, domestic violence refuges and day centres. This healthy surplus food costs charities just £210 per tonne, compared to £1,300 to buy at retail prices.
FareShare South West is an integral part of Feeding Bristol, which has played a crucial role in Bristol’s Coronavirus response. Since lockdown began, FareShare SW has delivered over 48,398 kg of food to 46 charities and community groups in Bristol East, serving an average 4,066 people – enough to create 115,236 meals for those hardest hit by the pandemic. FareShare as a whole has, since March, tripled the amount of food it has delivered to vulnerable people across the UK – largely thanks to trial funding from Defra which allowed the organisation to cover the additional costs faced by growers, suppliers and producers in diverting their surplus to frontline charities.
FareShare is now campaigning to have this funding extended, so it can provide another 40 million meals for those in need. FareShare is also part of Marcus Rashford’s taskforce on child food poverty, which is calling on the Government to expand free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent; expand holiday food and activities to support all children on free school meals; and increase the value of the Healthy Start vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, expanding them to all those on Universal Credit or equivalent.
Labour has invited Marcus’ taskforce in for a meeting with Keir Starmer and Kate Green so we can discuss how we can support his campaign.