The Co-operative boosts its support for fareshare in time for Christmas

20 December 2013

The Co-operative Group is increasing its support for national charity FareShare to help even more vulnerable and needy people in time for Christmas.

The Co-operative, which sent 113 tonnes of surplus food – more than 269,000 meals – to FareShare in 2013, is looking to increase its support with a further three depots working with the charity by early next year.

These will include its regional distribution centres at Avonmouth in Bristol and Castlewood in north Derbyshire, which have this month started sending surplus food, such as oversupplies and products with damaged but intact packaging, to FareShare Birmingham, Cymru, Leicester, South West and Yorkshire.

And The Co-operative, which now supports FareShare from six distribution centres across the country, will also introduce the scheme at its Andover depot in early 2014.

The Co-operative already sends food to FareShare from its depots at Birtley in County Durham, Newhouse, near Glasgow, Thurrock in Essex, and Lea Green on Merseyside, which the charity distributes to a variety of organisations, including homeless hostels, lunch clubs, young peoples’ projects and refugee centres.

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive – Retail, The Co-operative Group, said: “We are delighted to support FareShare and this year we have sent them more than 113 tonnes of food, the equivalent of 269,000 meals, to help some of the most disadvantaged people across the country.

“As a community retailer The Co-operative shares FareShare’s commitment to tackling food poverty and food waste. Now we are supporting the charity from two more food distribution centres, we can help make a bigger difference to the many charities and organisations they support, especially in the run up to Christmas.

“We are looking forward to working with FareShare’s regional centres and supplying them with a range of quality and healthy products, which will be distributed to many worthwhile causes across the country and enjoyed by people who need it most.”

FareShare is a national charity, founded in 2004, which aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste by taking surplus food and drink from the food industry and redistributing it to more local charities across the country, helping to feed 51,000 people every day.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO at FareShare, added: “The strengthening of our partnership with The Co-operative will mean we can provide even more high quality, nutritious food to the 1,000 charities we support. This comes at a crucial time, as demand for our services is rising and more people are turning to our member charities for food than at any other time in FareShare’s history. It will also mean these charities will save thousands pounds on their food bill, which they can invest into providing additional support services for their beneficiaries, helping to get people back on their feet.”

For further information, please contact:

Kieran Howlett                                                                     
Senior Public Relations Officer
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 767 4289
Mob: 07739 657 585