Unlocking frozen for hungry people

by FareShare Sussex & Surrey in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom

Unlocking frozen for hungry people

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Working with 10 local community groups to increase their capacity for frozen and chilled surplus food, enabling them to get more good food t

by FareShare Sussex & Surrey in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom

At FareShare Sussex & Surrey we collect surplus from the food industry and distributes it to 144 charities and community groups across the region.  Unlike other redistribution charities, we can take large amounts of chilled and frozen produce which would otherwise go to waste. 

In the UK food industry more than 19 millions meals worth of food is wasted each year. Meanwhile, 13 million people in the UK are struggling to get the food they need.

We intercept this surplus food and feed bellies rather than bins. Redistributing more than 900 tonnes of surplus food and saving the 144 charities and community groups we work with more than £2.8 million in food costs every year. 

We are fundraising to help increase their capacity for food, working with 10 community groups to help them to accept more frozen and chilled items. This support could be purchasing equipment such as a fridge, freezer or temperature tracking equipment but for others it will be providing training for volunteers and staff. 

Last year we supplied 66 charities and community groups with 43 tonnes of frozen food but we are aiming to increase this. 

“Having a new freezer will enable us to have a wider variety of food, we can freeze down all the vegetables we grow. It would extend the range of food we can offer children, we might even be able to give them ice cream occasionally!” Pam, Nippers

This increase in food will help charities and community groups support those who are struggling to afford to eat all across Sussex & Surrey. From homeless people to young parents, the elderly and those living in supported accommodation, this food will reach those who need it most. 

We will be working with Warming Up the Homeless, Havens Community Hub, Crossover, Case, Brighton Housing Trust, Knaphill Community Fridge, Langley Larder, Nippers, Epsom Pantry and Stonewater to help increase their capacity for food.

Why frozen food?

There is more frozen food in the surplus system. We have invested in a new warehouse in Guildford which helps triple our capacity for frozen and chilled food and a frozen van so we can accept and transport greater quantities of food, to stop it going to waste. 

We are expanding our capacity to redistribute frozen food by 12 tonnes, so we want to ensure this food is going to those who need it most. We want to save more frozen surplus food and stop it going to waste. 

We know that it is expensive for charities and community groups to invest in their own commercial equipment, particularly when many of them are relying on volunteers and funding from the public.  

“Trying to find funding for core costs is increasingly more difficult and trying to find funding for a fridge is taking second place at them moment”  Havens Community Hub, Newhaven 

What kind of food is frozen?

A great variety of food arrives into our warehouse already frozen including meats, meat alternatives, pizzas, pies, mixed vegetables and desserts. We can also prolong the life of products such as bread, raw meat and dairy by freezing them.

How do you deliver frozen and chilled food?

Our fleet of six temperature controlled vans keep chilled food cool and thermal boxes and cool packs keep frozen food at a consistent temperature during transportation. We are investing in a frozen van at our Guildford warehouse which will be dedicated to delivering frozen products. 

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