Getting ready for the UK’s biggest food collection – #povertyinwales
Many thanks to Crest Co-operative for providing this guest blog post, as part of our Tackling Poverty Fortnight campaign. Among many other ventures, Crest runs FareShare North Wales. Here’s the story of a major new project that it’s about to be a part of:
On Friday 29th November – Sunday 1st December, our team will be at Tesco supermarket stores in Llandudno Junction and Wrexham. Our volunteers will be greeting shoppers and encouraging them to buy one or two additional items, to help contribute to meals for homeless and vulnerable people.
Food and drink donations, including tins, water, juice, cereal and more, will be delivered to 44 community groups in North Wales.
Tesco stores across the UK will be taking part and 910 UK charities are set to benefit. Shoppers will be invited to pick up a FareShare shopping list as they enter their local Tesco store. They will then be asked to place any food donations in the trolley, as they leave the store.
FareShare North Wales supports homeless drop in centres, food banks, centres for the elderly, centres for adults with learning disabilities and more charities and community groups.
With just one month to go, our team are busy recruiting extra volunteers to help collect food for vulnerable people.
Food drives are essential to support the work of FareShare North Wales. All year round we work for an environmental purpose, by ensuring that good food is not wasted. We turn an environmental problem into a solution, by working with food manufacturers to redistribute food that would otherwise be sent to landfill. The food may be surplus due to damages in packaging, over orders, but is still in date and fit for purpose.
86% of the food FareShare receives is fresh food supplied by the food industry, so we receive a comparatively small amount of produce with a long shelf life. The Tesco food collection really helps us to source store cupboard items such as tinned soup, rice, pasta and tea and coffee, which we rarely receive in surplus.
The Tesco food drive is a great way for shoppers to support vulnerable people in their local area. Foodworx in West Rhyl is one of the community groups, which will benefit from the food collection. Fiona Davies, Project Manager for Foodworx in West Rhyl, works with local residents who are suffering financial hardship. Foodworx operates a food bank at The Foryd Centre in Princes Street, Rhyl. Fiona said: “Without FareShare North Wales we would have to rely on donations. Without FareShare we would only be able to help people in crisis. The food from FareShare allows us to help people continually. “At the moment we are supporting 100 people. They come to us for 13 to 26 weeks. They volunteer for us for four hours a month. They then get a food parcel each week and they feel like they have earned it and that it is not charity. People who need help can be any age, at the moment we are supporting people of pension age, families and individuals.”
Paul Riley, 49, from West Rhyl, has benefited from food parcels during struggling times. He now volunteers for Foodworx. He said: “The food parcels are very important, they can be a life saver. It helps people of all ages. Anybody can lose a job and not know who to turn to. Then they end up in a situation where they need help from a food bank. It’s happened to me before and I know how much it can help.”
To support FareShare North Wales, please sign up to volunteer at the Tesco food drive from Friday 29th November – Sunday 1st December.