Food Waste & Hunger

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is wasted by the UK food industry every year.

5.8 million people in the UK live in ‘deep poverty’, making it hard for them to afford every day essentials, including food.

Every day people of all ages go hungry. This can be for reasons such as redundancy, reduced welfare support, or simply receiving an unexpected bill whilst working on a low income. This means that many people have no choice but to turn to drop-in centres, hostels, food banks and other emergency help to feed themselves and their families. For others, going along to a lunch club helps to alleviate loneliness as well as providing a meal.

This is where FareShare Midlands comes in. We reclaim good-to-eat surplus food from manufacturers, suppliers and retailers that would have otherwise been thrown away.

We distribute this food to around hundreds of local charities and community projects across the Midlands. The food is then turned into thousands of nutritious meals every week for the people who need it most. For the community groups we work with, our service is a much needed resource. 

With the charity sector experiencing an increased demand at a time when budgets are stretched, providing food enables our charity members to reinvest in essential services to help their clients, such as advice and guidance, mentoring and social activities. 

Our long term vision is for food poverty not to exist. While it does, we want to expand our service to reach even further across the Midlands to help many more community groups offer a food service to their beneficiaries.

8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat

This is equivalent to the entire population of London.

4.7 million of these people live in severely food insecure homes. This means that their food intake is greatly reduced and children regularly experience physical sensations of hunger.
UN figures also show that 5.6% of people aged 15 or over struggle to get enough food. A further 4.5% report that they have been a full day without anything to eat.
Our own research shows that 46% of people accessing the services of our charity partners have gone a whole day without a proper meal in the last month.

1.9million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year

By “food industry” we mean all businesses involved in the supply of food. It includes everyone from farmers and growers to manufacturers and processors to wholesalers, retailers and food service companies.

250,000 tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible

This is equivalent to the entire population of London.

We call food that isn’t going to be sold, but which is still edible, surplus food. Food becomes surplus for simple reasons such as over-production, labelling errors or short shelf-life. Surplus food occurs everywhere in the supply chain from field through to fork. Here’s a breakdown of where it occurs and how much: Farms: 100,000-500,000 tonnes Processing and manufacturing: 52,000-160,000 tonnes Wholesale and distribution: 80,000-120,000 tonnes Retail: 47,000-110,000 tonnes

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