Across the UK, FareShare work with 9,653 frontline charities and community groups. They take the food saved from waste and transform it into meals for vulnerable people. These organisations serve up specialist support as well as lunch and dinner – meaning that one meal can be the start of a life-changing journey.
Highlights from our day of volunteering
Upon arrival at the warehouse, we were kitted out with high-vis jackets, steel-toe cap boots and briefed on FareShare’s operations. For example, the warehouse manager instructed us to quickly shut the door of the 200 square-metre fridge freezer when entering to keep pigeons out. Daniel had a nervous look on his face when sent into the -18 degree Celsius compartment for boxes of salmon and told to shut the door behind him. Luckily there weren’t any locks on the doors…
Tonnes of packaged food were stacked in thousands of crates in the warehouse. We were all surprised to learn this mostly included in-date luxury food items such as sirloin steaks and ready meals.
We helped stack ‘dollys’ – wheelie mini trolleys, 7 feet high, with crates full of food, using such balance and strength that any Tesco home delivery driver would be in awe of.
After loading all the colour coded crates into the vans, we were briefed by the drivers on how to keep a paper trail of; which organisation each delivery was going to, what temperature the food was at the time of delivery and names of who received the delivery. FareShare complies with very strict health and safety regulations and it goes without saying that we were all very happy to see a complete audit trail!
In the vans, we had a great chance to talk to the drivers about why they volunteered to help this organisation. The overwhelming message we heard was that all across London, there are hungry mouths. It didn’t matter what the reason was behind this, but there was a need that had to be met. The volunteers themselves were ordinary people just like us, and we had the utmost respect for the time sacrifice given to make it happen.
Between the four of us, we supported the delivery of food to schools, care homes, homeless shelters and community support programmes. With each delivery, we received warm smiles from the thankful kitchen staff. We left having seen first-hand the effect warm food has on these charities.
We would like to say a big thank you to FareShare for letting us be a part of their team!
One of our UHY volunteers commented: “Volunteering for the day showed me that there was so much hard work being done to support local charities. It’s great to know the firm I work for support this.”
The volunteers stressed how many hungry children there were in London – 37% are classed as living in poverty.
For every 25p donated, one child in a school breakfast club can be fed.
Visit fareshare.org.uk to see all the case studies of how every week 772,390 people who might otherwise go without food are provided for. Anyone can volunteer.