Minister Alun Davies visits FareShare Cymru and the Huggard Centre (25.04.13)

Welsh Government Reports: 

FareShare Cymru, which has been supported by over £1,078,000 of Welsh Government funding, distributes quality surplus food from the food industry – including supermarkets and local food companies - to community organisations that support disadvantaged groups.

The charity, which has premises in Cardiff and Llandudno Junction, has prevented almost 550 tonnes of perfectly good food from being sent to landfill. This equates to around 973,000 meals for those in Wales who need it most.

The surplus food is then distributed to organisations that support some of society’s most disadvantaged including the YMCA, the Salvation Army and women’s refuge centres, as well as the Huggard Centre, which cares for Wales’s homeless and people suffering from alcohol and substance misuse.

The Huggard Centre supports and cares for up to 100 vulnerable people each day by providing them with shelter, advice and a warm meal. The centre also helps people rejoin society and get on the road to rehabilitation by working closely with organisations that can help people with financial problems, physical and mental health issues and those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

Speaking at the centre, the Minister said:

“It is fantastic to see how two projects are working together to make such a difference to the lives of some of Wales’s most vulnerable.

“Perfectly edible food should not be being buried in the ground and left to rot when so many people are going without a good meal.

“FareShare Cymru shows exactly what can be achieved when businesses work with community groups to come up with solutions to help solve two of the UK’s most urgent problems – food waste and food poverty. I encourage food producers and retailers across Wales to consider the benefits of engaging with organisations like FareShare Cymru.”

Sarah Germain, Project Manager at FareShare Cymru said:

“FareShare Cymru works to alleviate food poverty within our communities by tackling food waste.  FareShare UK research tells us an unprecedented number of people are going hungry across the country, while  it is estimated that about 400,000 tonnes of food is wasted every year in Wales. If just 1% of that waste is fit for human consumption and redistributed to FareShare Cymru, we could contribute to an incredible 8 million meals to those who need it most.

“We’re urging the food industry to look at what is happening to their surplus food and do the right thing with it. Sending it to FareShare will mean we can deliver even more to those who need it and help feed some of the most vulnerable people in our community in a time of real need.”

Richard Edwards, Chief Executive of the Huggard Centre said:

"The support that Huggard gets from FareShare Cymru is vital to our work. On our busiest day in March we fed 127 homeless people within our day centre.

“The good quality food that FareShare delivers enables us to provide a diverse and balanced diet for our clients but also saves us money, which means we can focus our financial resources on the important work of developing people out of homelessness rather than simply feeding people."