Charities have been critical to the COVID-19 response said Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham today in response to news that food charity FareShare have tripled the amount of food it has delivered to vulnerable people across the UK since lockdown began in March.
In Stockton North alone, the charity has supported those hardest hit by the pandemic from their Newcastle regional warehouse by:
- Providing over 19850kg of food to 19 charities and community groups
- Serving an average of 1513 people
- Which is enough to make 47263 meals
The provision is currently being funded through a trial by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which has enabled FareShare to cover the additional costs faced by growers, suppliers and producers diverting their surplus to frontline charities.
An extension of this funding – costing the taxpayer just £5m per year, would unlock enough food to create 40m meals for those in need. This healthy surplus food costs charities around just £210 per tonne, compared to £1,300 to buy at retail prices. The trial has proven beyond doubt that serious volumes of fresh and nutritious food grown in England that are in excess of customer demand at that moment can be redistributed quickly, efficiently and safely, and in a very short period of time have helped create more than 10m meals for people in communities decimated by the impact of Covid-19.
Speaking about the scheme, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said:
“Many of my constituents are facing incredible difficulty during this pandemic, and it is good to see organisations such as FareShare working to ensure that the most vulnerable are not going hungry.
“People have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or seen a sharp reduction in their normal household income for a variety of reasons. Communities across this country face a huge challenge to get this country back on track, and whilst we do this, groups such as FareShare are doing what they can to reduce the severity of the situation.”