This month our team are celebrating everything that our frozen provision has achieved over the last two years.
This dedicated service – unique across the whole FareShare Network – began in early 2021 in response to the food volume needs of our Community Food Members (CFMs).
Largely driven by the pandemic, we set the wheels in motion for our brand new initiative as early as 2020, and this has so far provided over 300 tonnes of frozen foods to 144 charities and community groups in our region.
Pre-pandemic we provided about one tonne of frozen surplus a month, and we now provide one tonne a day. Not only that, we are projected to reach two tonnes a day by September 2023!
As we now fully exit it’s trial stages, our valued Community food members can access a wider variation of surplus through this supplementary membership. Provided on two dedicated freezer vans and completely volunteer driven, it accounts for 11% of our entire output as of February 2023.
Our Yorkshire Storage Hub (YSH), based in Leeds, is the venue for this innovative service and continues to house a large walk-in freezer that has a 25-pallet capacity. In addition to this, more and more of our partners are leveraging their own frozen storage in 2023 to hold surplus for us as well, to ease pressure when the volume of frozen offers made to our team spike.
The food that James, Harry and Steph distributed – mainly facilitated by Nicole and Fiona at FareShare UK – enabled almost three-quarters of a million meals over the last 24 months.
We have seen such an array of food items in the freezer since the launch, from fresh cuts of meat and fish, to sweet treats like ice cream and sorbet. The items in which we have seen the most of are meat and vegetables, with our vegan and vegetarian alternatives also being a firm favourite amongst our members. This has been crucial to boosting their services whenever we lack those options in the chilled and ambient categories, which can be quite frequent given the volatile nature of surplus.
We have also had some incredible feedback from CFMs who have a fortnightly or weekly frozen membership with us.
“We have received a lot of meat alternatives and this has gone down well, we’d like more! Frozen fruit and vegetables have also been very popular.” – Headfield Primary School
“The most popular items have been frozen chips and bags of vegetables. We’d like more ready meals and we are more than happy to try vegetarian foods!” – Salvation Army Goldthorpe
“We joined the frozen initiative to see if it would benefit the food parcels we offer through our Food Pharmacy and it has! We get our fortnightly delivery and we receive such an amazing choice of food that support Halal and non-Halal, as well as meat alternatives. Many of the parents and children look forward to coming to our Food Pharmacy.” – Hadfield Institute
We have plans to continue to grow the frozen initiative, which includes additional places for our CFMs to join this provision.
If you’re a CFM who would like more information on our frozen provision or would like to join, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a food company who has surplus food or drink items that you’d like to give to FareShare Yorkshire, we can offer you a speedy collection at no cost to yourselves. Please email: email@example.com for more information.