FareShare South West, a charity who redistribute good quality, in date surplus food to frontline organisations supporting the most vulnerable, has announced that it is launching its core service into Devon.
The announcement of this long-term support for the region follows crisis response work undertaken during the pandemic, when the charity delivered more than 200 tonnes of ambient food for use across Devon and Cornwall from their emergency warehouse in Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol.
FareShare South West is partnering with Exeter Food Action to launch and operate its service, with eight key local frontline projects now signed up and ready to receive weekly deliveries of food support.
We are delighted to announce that New Leaf is one of the eight initial frontline projects signed up and will be receiving deliveries from today, 29 October.
Ed Gillam, Service Manager comments: “I would like to thank Sally Aggett our Technical Instructor at New Leaf who has been instrumental in setting up the partnership with FareShare. We are so excited to be working with them and developing a way to support the distribution of food to vulnerable people that use DPT’s services.
“We are hoping that we can help people who are leaving hospital, those who are in a crisis or for our older adults who may not be able to shop regularly. For the first few weeks it will be quite a learning curve, but we are hoping that this will be part of New Leaf’s future direction with lots of opportunities for community engagement.”
Shelley Wright, FareShare South West’s Devon and Cornwall Manager, adds: “Launching fully into Devon, in partnership with Exeter Food Action, is a long-awaited plan coming to fruition – and all at a critically important time. Our emergency food support for the county was vital between March–July, but we know our core service, which uses surplus food – both fresh and ambient - from across the food industry is a long term sustainable solution to the food insecurity many face. The partnership with Exeter Food Action has allowed us to make strategic partnerships with key frontline organisations, thanks to their local knowledge and contacts, which in turn means our impact will be greater. I want to thank the pioneer frontline organisations who by signing up at this early stage, will no doubt shape the project. I’m excited to see the impact this community of frontline organisations can have, linked by their food coming from FareShare South West.”
Jon Curtis, Exeter Food Action’s Treasurer, says: “As an organisation we work hard to make sure good food from our food industry is not wasted and is instead used to feed those who are struggling to make ends meet. Our partnership with FareShare South West will help us do this on a much bigger scale, saving more food from waste and support hundreds if not thousands of people in our city and wider region. We are pleased that this operation will be operating from our Marsh Barton warehouse, with the support of our amazing volunteers and with FareShare South West’s driver volunteers providing the deliveries to the warehouse. We can’t wait to get started and to see how this grows and develops in the coming months.”
The launch has also been supported by South West pasty makers, Ginsters, with the donation of two vans for transporting food, along with a generous donation of £15,000 from Exeter Chiefs, which has allowed for a chiller to be installed at Exeter Food Action’s base. Ginsters and Exeter Chiefs support will allow fresh food to be redistributed across Devon.
As well as New Leaf, the other initial frontline organisations receiving food are: Redhill's Primary School Exeter, Inclusive Exeter CIC, Rediscover Church Exeter, St Thomas Community Larder, St Petrocks, St Sidwells, and Westbank Community Health & Care.