Funding from the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme has enabled food charity FareShare to open a new warehouse in Milton Keynes to distribute surplus food to people in need.
The new centre is part of our £20 million three-year investment in FareShare and The Trussell Trust and will help more than 5,000 people at risk of hunger within the first year of opening.
FareShare South Midlands, based in Bletchley, is being run in partnership with SOFEA, a charity which works with young people to develop their skills and employability. It's FareShare’s 25th warehouse in the UK and will redistribute food to 49 charities and community groups based in the area.
Research by the charity End Child Poverty shows around one in three children in Milton Keynes are living in poverty and that the need for FareShare’s service has never been higher.
Richard Kennell, chief executive office of FareShare South Midlands and SOFEA, said: "SOFEA first launched in partnership with FareShare five years ago, when we opened FareShare’s Thames Valley branch.
"Our dual mission of fighting hunger and food waste, alongside supporting young people to achieve their potential, has proved a brilliant success in that region. In just five years, we have saved 1,000 tonnes of surplus food from waste whilst also supporting over 250 disadvantaged young people through our education programmes.
"At SOFEA, we believe everyone should have access to quality food and education – and we look forward to working with the community in Milton Keynes to make this vision a reality."
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare UK, said: "Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is wasted within the UK supply chain each year, yet at the same time, 8.4 million people across the UK are struggling to afford to eat.
"FareShare works with the food industry and charities to tackle both these issues, and so we are incredibly grateful to Asda for their support in enabling us to open a brand new warehouse in Milton Keynes. Their vital funding will be instrumental in ensuring good surplus food gets onto the plates of people who need it across Buckinghamshire."
Stephi Brett-Lee, senior director community and corporate affairs at Asda, said: “We’re really proud of our Fight Hunger Create Change programme and by bringing FareShare and the Trussell Trust together and investing in their infrastructure and essential services, we can help thousands more vulnerable people in Milton Keynes and nationwide to access good quality fresh food.
"Our Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme aims to make a real difference in this local community, as well as on a larger scale as we continue to help people out of poverty and create a long term positive change in the UK by tackling the root causes of poverty and ensuring nobody goes hungry."
For further information or to find out how your charity or community group can receive surplus food from FareShare, visit www.fareshare.org.uk/south-midlands.