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From Food Waste to Fighting Hunger: Exploring FareShare

Family mealtime
Researchers: Anna Marcinkiewicz
Published: January 2014

What is FareShare?

FareShare is a national charity which receives surplus food from the UK food industry and redistributes it to a network of more than 1000 charities, called member charities. Food is cooked and eaten communally on the premises of member charities, rather than taken home.

Aim

We wanted to explore how FareShare helps those most in need of food, and examine the experiences of people who use Fareshare's services. Further, we wanted to explore FareShare's national coverage against indicators of deprivation to understand how well their services reach those most in need.

Findings

  • 75% of the most deprived areas in the UK are within a deliverable distance of a FareShare depot.
  • 63% of FareShare member charities are based in the most deprived fifth of neighbourhoods in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • 58% of FareShare member charities are located in the most health deprived areas of Britain.
  • If you live in a deprived area, you're five times more likely to have a FareShare member charity in your neighbourhood.
  • Over half of the most deprived areas in England and Wales are within 2km (a twenty minute walk, or short bus ride) from a FareShare member charity.
  • FareShare improved the variety and healthiness of food that their member charities are able to offer.
  • Beneficiaries at member charities valued the variety of food from FareShare and welcomed having a mix of healthy options and treats.
  • Beneficiaries reported a range of advantages of the FareShare model, such as elevated emotional well-being which arose from communal eating in a supportive environment.

Methodology

This research involved a qualitative case study component with beneficiaries and member charities, and a quantitative element that used GIS mapping to provide a detailed picture of Fareshare's distribution network. The selection of case studies ensured a variety of views were collected which represented a wide range of member charities and beneficiaries within FareShare’s network.

Read From Food Waste to Fighting Hunger: Exploring FareShare