March made for a record month at our Food Redistribution Centre, with more than a quarter of a million meals distributed to communities.
After a challenging start to the month the team put in a huge effort to bring in food and send 26,000 trays of goods out – the equivalent of 291,000 meals. By comparison, the previous record was 23,000 trays out in one month.
New processes helped the team to maintain momentum in the face of short supplies – ensuring thorough date management to prevent waste, encouraging CFMs to diversify from their usual supply, and pushing hard to get food in from new suppliers.
This supported 115 CFMs – the member charities and community groups we support – to feed 13,800 people, saving them around £80 each on food costs.
In total the goods sent out – ranging from fresh fruit and veg to ambient goods, frozen foods and luxury products – weighed in at 122.6 tonnes. The food supplied comes in from the food retail supply chain, as supermarkets, distributors and manufacturers send surplus stock, which would otherwise have gone to waste, into the national FareShare network.
Jamie Boulton, Food Redistribution Manager, said: “The first quarter of every year is always difficult in food supply so to have achieved record-breaking ouput gives us a real sense of achievement.
“Especially as we’d dropped to really low levels of stock at the start of the month – with just five tonnes of goods in the warehouse we regrettably had to suspend allocations one day.
“We’re grateful to our CFMs for their patience during this short but challenging period and our suppliers for helping us to hit record levels. It’s all made possible by our wonderful volunteers and team who work tirelessly to get food out to those in need and prevent food waste.
“Every day we go home tired but feeling good that our efforts made a real difference in this great time of need.”