A Slice of Success: looking back on 2021

Over the last 12 months, we have seen 2,500 tonnes of food entering our three regional centres and enough food leaving for over 5,000,000 meals. 

From freshly harvested potatoes in sacks or carrots in trays to raw chicken or cooked sausages, long-life kettle foods to short-dated peaches, we see such a variety of surplus food arriving each day from our incredible food partners. 

Just in terms of fresh produce alone, 640,000 kilograms have been intercepted, inspected, logged, picked, packed and delivered to our Community Food Members (CFMs).  

Without our amazing team of volunteers this would have been impossible.  The hundreds of thousands of little actions they’ve performed over the space of 12 months with great dedication and care have made a difference so great that the numbers alone can’t even begin to measure.

But what happens after that?

This celebratory piece looks at what happens after this, from what community cooks do once they receive this food, to the courses we offer in our training kitchen. All of our CFMs put so much passion and hard work into what they do and we are showcasing just that.

Our FullCrumb Kitchen launched in March 2020 and since opening, has seen 80 classes delivered among our CFMs, volunteers and staff.  Following many months of disruption when training could not take place we are now opening a second FullCrumb Kitchen in January 2022

Our Project Manager Chris Clyburn has developed a superb suite of training and uses the free classes to truly empower and inspire.

Chris also utilises social media, with active accounts across popular platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  Groups and individuals alike can follow these for tips, recipes and interactive polls as well as quizzing Chris for advice.

CFMs come away from the FullCrumb Kitchen full of inspiration which they then take back to their own kitchens.  We have such a variety of different CFMs, meaning the surplus food that they receive gets used in many different ways. 

Mandi Reeve the Community Champion at Boothroyd Primary Academy told us;

“We get so many positive comments from families. We also helped a family that lost their home in a devastating fire.  As well as doing a collection for them, the food parcels they received from us were a huge help.”

Charlotte Williams is the Chief Executive of Station House Community Association which has been a CFM since 2007.  She said;

“We really couldn’t do it without FareShare Yorkshire. Each day we can feed the kids that come here with a range of food and they very often give positive feedback. The yoghurts, puddings and milk are perfect for us, not to mention the mince, stew meat and beef joints! The drivers are always polite and friendly, as well as the whole team back at the warehouse that make this happen.”

We often have alternative products that allow the beneficiaries to cater to different diets and allergies.

Andrew Sykes at Noah’s Ark in Bradford recently gave his beneficiaries a plant-based meat alternative to try.

“Originally, the beneficiaries wouldn’t try any meat alternatives,” says Andrew, “but one day I decided to make a Bolognese with Beyond Meat, a plant based protein mince. They all commented on how nice it was, so they now want meat alternatives adding into the order whenever possible!  It was great to go from a ‘no thank you’ response to a ‘yes please!’”

Beginning our frozen provision in February this year with immense help from WRAP, Minster Law, FareShare UK and Sainsbury’s was a huge benefit to over 70 CFMs and counting.  

It improved variety and versatility through the health, haulage and fuel crises.  Now that we approach the end of its trial year, we are excited to be able to make this additional avenue of support a permanent part of our provision across Yorkshire.

We gained some brilliant partners who supply frozen surplus via our transport solution.  This too was a WRAP-funded innovation, operating since 2018.  By developing our own logistics we have been able to contribute an additional £1.3M worth of food to our CFMs over the last 3 years and cope better with the enormous pressures on the UK supply chain in 2021.

Many CFMs had positive feedback for us right at the beginning of their frozen provision. 

Highfield Adventure told us they ‘bought a bigger freezer’ as they were ‘beyond happy’ with their orders.

Longley 4 Greens said. “The deliveries have been amazing!  The amount of food we receive is suitable for the number of clients we are currently serving.  All the food has been received really well.”

We hope that in 2022 we can continue to develop our provision, introduce more CFMs to the training kitchen and offer an even more varied selection of surplus food.

On behalf of all of us at FareShare Yorkshire, a huge thank you to our partners for all their tireless support through another very difficult but rewarding year.

270,000 tonnes of perfectly edible food gets wasted by the food industry each year.

That’s enough for nearly 650,000,000 meals

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