Tory MP pleads with his own government to restore funding to a charity that distributes four meals a second


A Tory MP has called on his own government to restore funding to a charity that distributes to food banks.

Fareshare is the UK’s oldest food redistribution charity and provides millions of meals to hungry families every week. According to its latest statistics, it provides four meals per second.

But with food banks across the country facing growing demand as the cost of living crisis hits hard across the country, Fareshare is asking for more help to continue its much-needed work. Tory MP Dr Neil Hudson, who represents Penrith and The Border, joined those calling on the government to help the charity.

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Dr Hudson has worked with the charity on their #FoodOnPlates campaign and is calling on the government to restore funding that was previously cut. FareShare previously participated in a pilot project run by Defra, which allowed farmers and producers to donate their unsold food to charities, through FareShare’s innovative Surplus with Purpose programme.

The charity’s annual statistics show that between April 2021 and March 2022, it redistributed the equivalent of 93,000 meals through five charities in Dr Hudson’s constituency alone. FareShare takes delivery of surplus food that is good to eat, unsold or unwanted by the food industry, sorts it in one of its regional warehouses and distributes it through a network of thousands of charities and community groups, or via its app called FareShare Go.

These organizations then turn these nutritious foods into meals for vulnerable families and individuals, many of whom are struggling with unemployment, low income, debt, homelessness, family breakdown, addiction or other problems.

Dr Hudson said: “I fully support the FareShare campaign to end food waste and help vulnerable families by providing a mechanism to get fresh, nutritious food to vulnerable families struggling with the cost crisis of life. Our EFRA committee on which I sit has asked DEFRA to continue funding this innovative program. With so many struggling to cope, funding food redistribution and stopping unnecessary food waste is so important to our food security. Annual funding of £5 million would allow FareShare to redistribute an additional 53 million meals across the UK.

“It is important that funding reaches farms as soon as possible, to allow them to help those affected by the cost of living crisis with food surpluses from the current growing season and harvest.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “Each year more than 2 million tonnes of good-to-eat food are wasted on our farms and factories. Meanwhile, millions are suffering from food insecurity, with more and more people in Penrith and The Border being hit by the cost of living crisis. At a time when the needs are so great, it is a mistake that there is so much waste. That’s why we launched our #FoodOnPlates campaign, and I’m extremely grateful to Dr Neil Hudson for his continued support in Parliament.


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